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.
Smith - Brassard - Stone
Hoffman - Pageau - Pyatt
Kelly - Lazar - Neil
Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman
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.
|Goals||Kyle Turris||12||Marian Hossa||16|
|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|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||46.4%||25th||53.0%||6th|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||47.2%||23rd||52.1%||10th|