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Game 76 Preview: Ottawa Senators @ Detroit Red Wings

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A preview of the March 31st game between the Sens and Wings.

Karlsson breakaway in OT, so of course he doesn't score
Karlsson breakaway in OT, so of course he doesn't score
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a week makes. This time a week ago, the Senators were in playoff position and everyone was dreaming of potential first-round opponents. Now everything is not awesome, and Sens Twitter has activated Hulk Mode. Still, a win tonight coupled with a Panthers victory over the Bruins would put the Sens one behind the Bruins still with that fabled one game in hand.

Here are tonight's projected Sens lines and pairings courtesy of Gord Wilson:

Smith - Zibanejad - Ryan
MacArthur - Turris - Stone
Condra - Pageau - Lazar
Hoffman - Legwand - Chiasson

Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Borowiecki - Gryba

Hammond (starter)
Anderson

Here are the Red Wings' projected lines, courtesy of NHL.com:

Abdelkader - Zetterberg - Nyquist
Helm - Datsyuk - Tatar
Pulkkinen - Sheahan - Jurco
Miller - Glendening - Andersson

Ericsson - Kronwall
Quincey - DeKeyser
Smith - Zidlicky

Mrazek (starter)
Howard

Some notes for tonight:

  • Oh boy, Zack Smith on the top line. Looks like he is getting that shot at a more offensive role he was rumoured to want in the summer.
  • Mike Hoffman and Alex Chiasson did look pretty good together in some brief minutes against the Leafs two Saturdays ago. Maybe they can rekindle some of that magic.
  • Looks like Clarke MacArthur's not the only one to wear a tinted visor to minimize concussion symptoms - Matt Calvert has been doing the same thing
  • Dave Cameron's sure taken a lot of flack lately. I've been asking for a while if he's actually been a good coach, or if it's a combination of lucky injuries and Paul MacLean making bafflingly terrible decisions that's made Cameron look great in comparison
  • That being said, he's done some things right, like giving Patrick Wiercioch real minutes and allowing Mark Stone to excel
  • The Senators are 17-4-3 in their last 24 games, which looks fantastic even when accounting for their recent 0-2-1 skid
  • The Wings have some kind of a goaltending controversy going on, with Petr Mrazek getting the last three starts in a row even though Jimmy Howard has four more years at a $5.292M cap hit
  • Erik Karlsson has now passed the 60-point mark three times in his career. The only other Senator defenseman to reach that was Norm Maciver, who scored 63 points in the Sens' inaugural season.

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from www.puckon.net.

Category Ottawa Florida
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 26 Tomas Tatar 28
Assists Erik Karlsson 41 Henrik Zetterberg 45
Points Erik Karlsson 61 Henrik Zetterberg
61
Shots Erik Karlsson 266 Henrik Zetterberg
213
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:05 Niklas Kronwall 23:42

Category Ottawa Florida
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.84 9th 2.89 7th
Goals Against 2.63 17th 2.63 18th
Score adjusted Corsi % 50.6% 19th 53.6% 4th
Score adjusted Fenwick % 49.0% 20th 52.5% 9th
Shots For 30.7 13th 29.8
17th
Shots Against 32.4 25th 28.2 7th