The Ottawa Senators will return from the Christmas break looking for their fifth straight win when they visit the New York Rangers tonight. The Senators will go with the same lineup that won 2-1 against Anaheim on Thursday with Mike Condon starting in net again.
The Rangers are coming off a 7-4 loss to Minnesota and have lost two in a row. After a quick start, they have fallen to third place in the Metro division, just three points ahead of the Washington Capitals with Washington holding four games in hand.
With a win tonight, the Senators would move within a single point of the Canadiens for the division lead. That would certainly be a big change from how the season was expected to go for this team. Here are the expected lines:
Dzingel - Turris - Ryan
Smith - Brassard - Stone
Hoffman - Pageau - Pyatt
Kelly - Lazar - Neil
Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman
Some notes for tonight:
- The Senators are 17-3-3 in games decided by one or two goals and 3-8 in games decided by three or more goals. They are certainly being very efficient with their goals.
- Does anyone else think Erik Karlsson was robbed of an assist against Anaheim?
- After a hot run, Mark Stone has gone without a point in two straight games.
- Kyle Turris on the other hand is on a three game points streak with four assists in that span.
- Bobby Ryan saw his four-game goal streak end against Anaheim.
- Dion Phaneuf is on pace for 36 points this season. He has five points in the last five games and 11 in the last 15 games after just four in the first 19.
- Cody Ceci's wait without a goal has reached 60 shots this season.
- Eight out of Phaneuf's 15 points have been on the power play.
- Ceci played 29 seconds more than Karlsson against Anaheim. This is a bizarre trend with no explanation in reason.
- Phaneuf is tied for the NHL lead with 21 minor penalties. Borowiecki despite his minimal ice time is 16th with 14 of them.
- Derick Brassard will make his return to New York tonight but Mika Zibanejad is out with a broken leg.
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from Corsica.
|Goals||Kyle Turris||12||Michael Grabner||14|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||31||Derek Stepan||26|
|Shots||Mike Hoffman||91||Rick Nash||88|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||27:00||Ryan McDonagh||24:04|
|Zone, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||46.72%||27th||48.39%||23rd|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||47.46%||24th||49.56%||19th|