The Ottawa Senators have had a lot of almost must-win games but tonight's game will be their first actual must-win game of the season. Ottawa has lost the last two games in overtime, has never trailed by more than a goal and has led for over 20 minutes longer than the Habs have. Yet it is 3-0 for Montréal and the Senators face elimination tonight.
Zack Smith will return to the lineup for David Legwand. Craig Anderson will start again.
Here are the lines and pairings for the Senators.
MacArthur - Turris - Stone
Michalek - Zibanejad - Ryan
Condra - Pageau - Lazar
Hoffman - Smith - Neil
Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Borowiecki - Gryba
Some notes for tonight:
- Ottawa has led 1-0 after the first period in every game this series.
- Craig Anderson was fantastic in his first game in weeks.
- Cody Ceci was absolutely atrocious in game 3. When Ceci was on the ice with Patrick Wiercioch at even strength the Senators had 7 Corsi for and 10 Corsi against. With Ceci on without Wiercioch, Ottawa had 0 Corsi for and 20 Corsi against.
- The Senators were 32-31 in Corsi with Erik Karlsson on the ice and 24-43 without him.
- Ottawa has allowed one fewer goal in each game but unfortunately they have also scored one fewer.
- There is no doubt that the Habs have been the better team this series but I don't think it has been a 3-0 difference.
- Hopefully Ottawa worries more about scoring goals than getting hits in.
- If Ottawa loses this series with its leading goal scorer rotting with the likes of Legwand, Neil and Smith, that will just leave a foul taste.
- I suspect there might be more Habs fans tonight than on Sunday with some Sens not wanting to witness a potential sweep.
- No matter what happens, this team has given its fans more fun than any team aside from the eventual cup champions will have. Hope the team gets a standing ovation at the end.
- Ottawa needs its stars to explode and get a multiple goal lead to ease the tension. Please.
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from www.war-on-ice.com
|Goals||Patrick Wiercioch||1||P.K. Subban||1|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||3||P.K. Subban||2|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||3||P.K. Subban||3|
|Shots||Erik Karlsson||10||P.K. Subban||15|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||29:48||Andrei Markov||26:06|
|Score adjusted Corsi %||47.3%||12th||52.7%||4th|
|Score adjusted Fenwick %||46.0%||14th||54.0%||3th|