The unexpectedly wild road trip comes to a close tonight in Winnipeg. The Sens moved up a point closer to Boston last night, but the point left on the table means they no longer control their own fate.
No skate today, so the lineups are a bit of a guess. Colin Greening goes in for Matt Puempel. Jared Cowen is a game time decision - if I had to guess who would come out if Cowen goes in, I'd go with Patrick Wiercioch out of habit.
Craig Anderson was confirmed as the starter... then 5 minutes later he wasn't after informing Dave Cameron he wasn't comfortable enough with his hand to do so tonight.
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Michalek - Turris - Stone
Condra - Pageau - Lazar
Greening - Legwand - Chiasson
Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Borowiecki - Gryba
Some notes for tonight's game:
Andrew Hammond creeps ever closer to "not waiver exempt" status - two more games played after tonight
- Winnipeg would have to be passed by four teams to fall out of the playoffs, but I'm sure they would love to pad their 1 point lead on Minnesota for the first wild card spot. Better to take the more likely matchup with the Ducks.
- Rookie Michael Hutchinson is slated to get his fifth straight start tonight for the Jets, and is quickly catching Ondrej Pavelec on the games played count for the season
- Lee Stempniak makes his debut for the Jets tonight.
- Wow, does Winnipeg ever end up in the box a lot - time to let Ottawa's 23rd place power play burn two minutes off the clock!
- Watch the energy level - Ottawa is, of course, on the back-half of a back to back at the end of a five game road trip. Winnipeg has two days off before and after, so should be well rested.
- Especially watch Erik Karlsson - he played a crazy 35:12 last night, with not one, but two shifts over three minutes long and a third shift that was 2:14 and without a single whistle. He's got crazy conditioning, even for a NHL player, but you've got to expect that to take it's toll in a back to back.
- Think Karlsson can work his way in to the Norris conversation this year? It's a long (long) shot, but he's making a bit of noise among Ottawa circles, blew through February at a point per game and really compares well against some of the defensive arguments being made for other players.
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.
|Goals||Mike Hoffman||23||Bryan Little||24|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||33||Andrew Ladd||30|
|Shots||Erik Karlsson||219||Dustin Byfuglien||193|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||27:06||Toby Enstrom||23:44|
|5v5 Corsi %||49.93%||20th||52.45%||6th|
|5v5 Fenwick %||47.97%||23rd||51.99%||9th|