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Game 61 Preview: Ottawa Senators at Minnesota Wild

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A preview of the post-trade deadline game between the Wild and Senators on March 3rd.

USA TODAY Sports

The Senators come in with two notable stats: they are on a five-game win streak, and they did nothing at the trade deadline. In fact, the Sens didn't make a single move all season, unless you count terminating Jakub Culek's contract and signing Brad Mills to a two-way deal. Craig Anderson returns from IR to back up Andrew Hammond. Besides that, Curtis Lazar looks to draw back in for Colin Greening. Here are the projected lines:

Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Michalek - Turris - Stone
Condra - Pageau - Lazar
Puempel - Legwand - Chiasson

Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Borowiecki - Gryba

Hammond (starter)
Anderson

It's hard to know what the Wild's lineup will look like considering their trade deadline acquisitions, but this appears to be the best projection from Michael Russo's analysis:

Parise - Granlund - Pominville
Vanek - Koivu - Stewart
Niederreiter - Coyle - Bergenheim
Haula - Brodziak - Fontaine

Suter - Brodin
Scandella - Leopold
Prosser - Dumba

Dubnyk (starter)
Kuemper

Some notes for tonight's game:

  • Hammond was the NHL's first star of the week last week, and with good reason: 3-0-0, 0.67 GAA, .978 save percentage, 2 shutouts. Just unreal.
  • Meanwhile, Devan Dubnyk was the first star for the month of February. He has started 20 straight games since being acquired, going 15-3-1, with a 1.64 GAA, .937 save percentage, and five shutouts
  • Those projected lines for the Wild could be completely wrong. I've assumed Jordan Schroeder and Christian Folin as the healthy scratches, but Mike Yeo's actual choices are anybody's guess.
  • As great as Hammond's run has been, I'm glad to see Anderson back. More than one viable goaltender is nice, and I don't know how much longer Hammond will be viable.
  • I was really glad to hear Bryan Murray say he decided it wasn't worth getting rid of Erik Condra. I wonder if this win streak saved the team from trading Condra for a sixth-round pick.
  • Jared Cowen may be scratched for his first game back from suspension. The D-corps seemed to look at lot better with Cowen not playing.
  • The Senators sit seven points out of the final playoff spot with two games in hand on the Bruins.
  • Meanwhile, the Wild have moved from 12th in the west to holding the final wild card spot since Dubnyk showed up in town.
  • The Wild's situation highlights part of the flaw of the current alignment - they have a three-point lead on the Kings and Flames, but because the Wild play in the Central division, they are in the final wild card spot while the Flames are considered third in their division.

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except for Corsi and Fenwick, which are from naturalstattrick.com.

Category Ottawa Minnesota
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 23 Zach Parise
25
Assists Erik Karlsson 32 Jason Pominville
29
Points Erik Karlsson
47 Zach Parise
46
Shots Erik Karlsson 215 Jason Pominville
196
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 26:57 Ryan Suter
29:05

Category Ottawa Minnesota
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.80 14th 2.81 13th
Goals Against 2.63 17th 2.56 13th
EV Corsi % 50.04% 19th 51.41% 11th
EV Fenwick % 48.22% 23rd 52.60% 7th
Shots For 30.5 13th 31.4 5th
Shots Against 32.4 26th 26.8 1st