The Ottawa Senators are looking to break out of a funk after dropping 4 of their last 5 when they take on the Boston Bruins in Ottawa tonight. The two clubs met 12 days ago when the Bruins filled the net for a 7-3 win over the Sens. Boston is clinging to 4th spot in the division with 46 points. The Sens are just 2 points back, so a regulation win would put the teams in a tie with Boston having a pair of games in hand. Ottawa is coming off a 3-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night while Boston is on the back-end of back-to-back games after beating the New Jersey Devils 4-1 last night.
The Bruins will welcome Brad Marchand back to the lineup after serving his 3-game suspension for a dirty low hit on Mark Borowiecki on December 29th.
Coach Dave Cameron announced that there will be no changes to the lineup from Thursday's game. This means that Alex Chiasson, Chris Wideman, and Jared Cowen will be the healthy scratches again. Craig Anderson who holds a career 7-11-0 record against the Bruins will get his second straight start for the Sens.
Ryan - Turris - Stone
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Michalek
McCormick - Pageau - Lazar
Prince - Smith - Neil
Claesson - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Methot - Borowiecki
Some notes for tonight:
- Kyle Turris hasn't been able to find the back of the net for the past 10 games. He had his fair share of chances in Thursday's game against the Panthers, registering a season-high six shots on net.
- Jean-Gabriel Pageau had an unreal game in the face-off dot against Florida, winning 12 of 14 draws. He is now 52.5% on the season.
- The last time these two teams met, they combined for 110 penalty minutes. The Sens have said they won't seek retribution for Marchand's hit, but who knows what could happen if the game gets out of hand one way or the other.
- Chris Neil picked up a Gordie Howe hat trick with a goal, assist, and a fight in their last meeting. Neil now has 196 PIMs in 69 career games against the Bruins.
- The Bruins hold the league's best powerplay, scoring on 28.6% of chances. Meanwhile, the Sens have the third worst penalty kill at 77.0%. Clearly the Sens will have to stay out of the box to stay in this one.
- Max McCormick scored his first NHL goal on Thursday by picking off a bad breakout pass and beating Roberto Luongo. Congratulations Max!
- At the halfway point in the season, the Sens are one point out of the last wild card spot. At the mid-point of last season, the Sens were 8 points out of the playoffs.
- Erik Karlsson leads all defencemen and is ranked fourth overall with 43 points this season. Yep, he's good.
- Fredrik Claesson has looked good since his call-up, but the nerves may have got to him last game with a pair of giveaways that led to goals.
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||19||Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand||15|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||34||Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci||22|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||43||Patrice Bergeron||37|
|Shots||Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman||106||Patrice Bergeron||132|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||28:29||Zdeno Chara||24:23|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||47.1%||24th||51.5%||10th|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||46.6%||27th||52.0%||6th|