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Game 33 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Chicago Blackhawks

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Chicago Blackhawks on 20 December 2016.

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Chicago Blackhawks Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators will look to make it three consecutive wins when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. The Senators won a pair of games on back-to-back nights to firmly stay in a playoff spot and will look to finish off strongly in the last week before the Christmas break. However, it won’t be easy against a Chicago team that has won five in a row and leads the NHL with 48 points.

Mike Condon will start in net and Mike Hoffman will return to the lineup from his two game suspension. Here are the likely lines for the Senators from Gord Wilson.

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

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman

Condon (starter)
O'Connor

Some notes for tonight:

  • The Senators have a six point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
  • Despite their subpar shot metrics, the Senators are almost at 50% in one expected goals model as of Sunday morning. Interestingly, this model places Ottawa slightly ahead of Chicago.
  • Mark Stone is on a three-game points streak with six points in that span.
  • Zack Smith has three goals (including two empty-net goals) in the last two games. He will keep his place with Stone and Brassard instead of the returning Hoffman.
  • Sunday’s victory was the first time Ottawa has won by more than three goals this season. The Senators are still yet to win a game by more than two goals without counting empty net goals.
  • Bobby Ryan has scored a goal in three consecutive games and a point in four straight games.
  • The Blackhawks have allowed five shorthanded goals, which is the third most in the NHL.
  • Former Senator Marian Hossa leads Chicago with 16 goals.
  • Erik Karlsson is tied with Brent Burns for the defencemen scoring lead with 30 points. Both players have played 32 games.
  • Mark Stone is tied for ninth with 26 points among right wingers.

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 Chicago
Player # Player #
Goals Kyle Turris 12 Marian Hossa 16
Assists Erik Karlsson 23

Patrick Kane

22
Points Erik Karlsson 30 Artemi Panarin 34
Shots Mike Hoffman 87 Patrick Kane 107
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 26:57 Duncan Keith 25:58

Category Ottawa Chicago
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.47 21st 2.82 9th
Goals Against 2.63 11th 2.32 7th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 46.4% 25th 53.0% 6th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 47.2% 23rd 52.1% 10th
Shots For 29.1 19th 28.7 24th
Shots Against 31.1 23rd 30.9 22nd