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Game 31 preview: New Jersey Devils @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the New Jersey Devils on 17 December 2016.

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The struggling Ottawa Senators will look to end a three-game losing streak when they host the New Jersey Devils tonight. The Senators have won just two of their last eight games (2-4-2) since winning four in a between 22 November to 27 November. Meanwhile, the Devils have lost four in a row, all in regulation and being outscored 19-5 in the losses. They have won just four out of 18 away games (4-10-4) this season.

The Senators will be without Mike Hoffman who was suspended two games for his brutal cross-check against San Jose on Wednesday. And with more bad news on the suspension front, Mark Borowiecki will return from his two game ban.

Here are the lines and pairings for tonight:

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

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman

Condon (starter)
Hammond

Some notes for tonight:

  • Five of the top seven teams by points in the NHL are in the Metro division. What this means for Ottawa is that they will likely need to finish top 3 in the division to make the playoffs. They are six points behind the Philadelphia Flyers who hold the final wild card spot. But fortunately for Ottawa, they continue to hold down the second spot in the Atlantic Division.
  • Cory Schneider has a save percentage of 90.6 this season. He has never been below 92.1% since he became a starter in the NHL. However, Keith Kinkaid will get the start tonight for New Jersey.
  • Ottawa has been outshot by 2.3 shots per game on average this season.
  • The 31.1 shots allowed per game is the fewest Ottawa has allowed since 2009-2010.
  • Wednesday's loss was Ottawa's first shootout loss of the season.
  • Mike Condon has given up 10 goals on 61 shots for an 83.6 save percentage over his last three starts. Andrew Hammond really must have annoyed the team by refusing to go for a conditioning stint.
  • Erik Karlsson is one point behind Brent Burns for the NHL defencemen scoring lead.
  • The Devils are already 11 points out of a playoff spot. Did I mention how good that division is?
  • Only Duncan Keith and Colton Parayko have more shots on goal without a goal this season than Cody Ceci. Keith has 20 assists, Parayko has 14 while Ceci has two.
  • Excluding Erik Karlsson, Dion Phaneuf has 12 points while the rest of the Senators defence has 13.

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 New Jersey
Player # Player #
Goals Kyle Turris 12 Mike Cammalleri 9
Assists Erik Karlsson 21

Travis Zajac

14
Points Erik Karlsson 28 Travis Zajac 22
Shots Mike Hoffman 87 Taylor Hall 72
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:08 Andy Greene 21:51

Category Ottawa New Jersey
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.33 26th 2.38 23rd
Goals Against 2.70 14th 2.97 23rd
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 45.6% 27th 46.1% 26th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 46.0% 25th 45.9% 26th
Shots For 28.8 23rd 28.3 26th
Shots Against 31.1 23rd 32.1 25th