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Game 23 preview: Buffalo Sabres @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres on 29 November 2016.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators are on a season high four-game winning streak and will look to extend it to five games when they host the struggling Buffalo Sabres. Ottawa has vaulted into second place in the Atlantic Division and in a tie for fourth overall in the NHL. On the other hand, the Sabres are in last place in the division and already six points out of the final wild card spot.

Ottawa is not expected to make any changes to the lineup. Meanwhile, my fantasy team (and the Sabres) will welcome Jack Eichel back for his season debut. Eichel had 56 points in 81 games as a rookie last season.

Here are the expected lines and pairings from the Senators.

Dzingel - Turris - Ryan
Hoffman - Brassard - Stone
Smith - Pageau - Pyatt
Kelly - Lazar - Neil

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Condon

Some notes for tonight:

  • The Senators have won four in a row. The last three wins were over four nights where the Senators allowed a total of two goals.
  • This is the nicest thing I will say about Mark Borowiecki. I don't think he is a good player or belongs on the team, but I have to admit that lately he doesn't seem like that he is incompetent at everything hockey related.
  • Bobby Ryan is on pace for 32 points in 80 games. He had one shot on goal against the Rangers, after getting none in the four games before that.
  • After seven points in the first seven games, Ryan Dzingel has just four in the last 15.
  • Mark Stone has scored a goal in three of the last four games.
  • In 12 starts since returning to the team after a leave of absence, Craig Anderson has stopped 370 of 390 shots for a 94.9 save percentage. The Senators have gone 8-3-1 in those games.
  • Erik Karlsson is currently on pace for 63 points. That would be his lowest points total in a full season since 2010-2011. Incidentally that would still be the third highest points total by a defenceman since then by someone not named Erik Karlsson.
  • The Senators finally scored first against the Rangers. It was just the sixth time in 22 games.
  • Only rizona (by two seconds) and Lumbus have had fewer power play time than the Senators this season.
  • The Senators have scored 26 goals in the first two periods and 22 goals in the third period and overtime.

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from www.puckon.net.

Category Ottawa Buffalo
Player # Player #
Goals Kyle Turris 10 Matt Moulson 7
Assists Erik Karlsson 13

Rasmus Ristolainen

9
Points Erik Karlsson 17 Kyle Okposo 13
Shots Mike Hoffman 62 Kyle Okposo 56
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:05 Rasmus Ristolainen 26:13

Category Ottawa Buffalo
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.18 28th 1.81 30th
Goals Against 2.32 7th 2.38 8th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 46.5% 27th 47.2% 24th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 47.5% 23rd 46.1% 27th
Shots For 30.2 10th 29.5 17th
Shots Against 31.2 22nd 32.3 27th