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Game 43 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Washington Capitals

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals on 10 January 2016.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators will look to win consecutive games for the first time in over a month when they visit the league leading Washington Capitals. Since 19 November, the Capitals have won nine in a row at home and have gone 19-2-2 overall. Needless to say, this will be a very tough task for Ottawa. To add to that, while both teams played yesterday, the Senators game last night started six hours after Washington's win in New York.

The Senators will go with the same lineup so Chris Wideman will be a healthy scratch for the third consecutive game while Jared Cowen will be a scratch for the sixth consecutive game. Alex Chiasson will be the other scratch and Andrew Hammond will start in net.

Here is the expected lineup:

Ryan - Turris - Stone
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Michalek
McCormick - Pageau - Lazar
Prince - Smith - Neil

Claesson - Karlsson
Methot - Ceci
Wiercioch - Borowiecki

Hammond (starter)
Anderson

Some notes for tonight:

  • Erik Karlsson continued his charge towards a Hart Trophy with another two points last night. Karlsson has 45 points this season while all the other defencemen to play for Ottawa this season have combined for 26.
  • The Senators have played five pretty good games in Jared Cowen's absence though they only won two out of the five.
  • Mark Borowiecki is on pace for one of the most putrid offensive seasons in NHL history. Only once has a player played at least 80 games and not get more than two points.
  • Alexander Ovechkin scored his 499th career goal yesterday against New York. There is a very good chance that #500 comes tonight. Since Ovechkin is my second favourite player (after Karlsson of course), it would be almost nice to see him score that while I am watching.
  • Marc Methot continues to struggle without Erik Karlsson with the Senators getting 37% of the 5-on-5 shot attempts in 129 minutes of Methot without Karlsson.
  • The Senators have almost 59% of the 5-on-5 shot attempts in 91 minutes of Karlsson with Patrick Wiercioch.
  • Mark Stone is a team worst -9 in case you think plus-minus is a good indicator of defensive ability.
  • With the Washington Redskins hosting a playoff game that starts 2.5 hours before this game, I wonder what the atmosphere in the arena will be like.
  • Ovechkin leads the NHL with 205 shots on goal, averaging an incredible 5.125 per game.
  • The Capitals lead the NHL with 32 power play goals.
  • Ottawa has gone 0-6-0 in their last six games following a win and were outscored 25-10 in those six games.

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from www.puckon.net. Note that Corsi is now adjusted for score as well as the venue and event type.

Category Ottawa Washington
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 19 Alexander Ovechkin 24
Assists Erik Karlsson 36 Nicklas Backstrom 25
Points Erik Karlsson 45 Nicklas Backstrom 38
Shots Erik Karlsson 113 Alexander Ovechkin 205
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 28:36 John Carlson 24:28

Category Ottawa Washington
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.74 10th 3.17 2nd
Goals Against 2.86 20th 2.15 2nd
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.3% 23rd 52.6% 5th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 46.7% 26th 53.3% 4th
Shots For 28.3 25th 30.5 9th
Shots Against 33.4 30th 28.6 9th