Having won two in a row for the first time since 3 and 5 December, a depleted Ottawa Senators squad will look to win three consecutive games for the first time since winning four in a row between 19 and 25 November. The Senators lost the first two games of the current five-game road trip before winning the next two and will finish it off tonight in New Jersey against the Devils. Marc Methot is still out injured with Mike Hoffman and Kyle Turris being game-time decisions.
With Fredrik Claesson sent to the AHL and Methot out, Jared Cowen will return to the lineup and Matt Puempel will also place. Craig Anderson will start and here is my guess at the lines if Hoffman and Turris can't go.
Michalek - Zibanejad - Ryan
Prince - Smith - Stone
Puempel - Pageau - Chiasson
McCormick - Lazar - Neil
Borowiecki - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Cowen - Wideman
Some notes for tonight:
- This has the potential to be an ugly looking lineup for the Senators. There is a decent chance that Mark Borowiecki, who probably doesn't even belong in the NHL, will be playing top pairing minutes tonight.
- The Senators have jumped into fifth place in the Atlantic Division since they last played thanks to the Montéal Canadiens continuing to lose.
- Evgeny Kuznetsov has now passed Erik Karlsson for first place among Eastern Conference players in points. Karlsson leads Brent Burns by six points for the defensive scoring lead.
- Craig Anderson has had a save percentage below 91.5% in four of his last five games and below 90% in two of them.
- It is really hard to see where the offence comes tonight if Hoffman and Turris can't play, especially considering the opposition.
- The Senators can move into a playoff spot with a regulation win tonight. Since I have pointed this out, you know what that means.
- Zack Smith leads the team with an 18.8 shooting percentage.
- Karlsson has not scored a goal since 20 December but does have 10 assists since then.
- There isn't a whole lot more to say for this game tonight. But there are certainly a lot of question marks regarding Hoffman and Turris. They are certainly much more unlucky this year with the good players having injury problems instead of the bad ones last year.
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.
|Goals||Mike Hoffman||20||Kyle Palmieri
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||38||Michael Cammalleri, Lee Stempniak
|Points||Erik Karlsson||47||Michael Cammalleri
|Shots||Erik Karlsson||121||Kyle Palmieri
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||28:42||Andy Greene
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||46.5%||26th||47.1%||24th|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||45.8%||29th||47.9%||23rd|