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Game 57 preview: Erik Karlsson's Ottawa Senators @ Lumbus Blue Jackets

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A preview of the game between Erik Karlsson's Ottawa Senators and the Lumbus Blue Jackets on 13 February 2016.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

After another solid effort in picking up the two points on Thursday, Erik Karlsson gets back into action in tonight's game against the Lumbus Blue Jackets. Karlsson has 15 points in his last 12 games to move into a tie for second place in the NHL scoring race with 62 points. His teammates have not fared as well though, with Ottawa seven points out of a playoff spot and having played two extra games.

Lumbus erased a two goal deficit in the third period on Thursday, eventually winning 4-3 against Anaheim in a shootout. They are currently 28th in the league, six points behind Ottawa. Patrick Wiercioch will be a healthy scratch with Chris Wideman returning and Craig Anderson will start. Mark Borowiecki will continue to play for a professional hockey team. Here are the lines and pairings.

Smith - Pageau - Stone
Hoffman - Turris - Chiasson
Prince - Zibanejad - Ryan
Dzingel - Lazar - Neil

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Hammond

Some notes for tonight:

  • Erik Karlsson has seven points in two games against Lumbus this year.
  • Karlsson is on track to lead his team in scoring for the third straight season. Bobby Orr was first in team scoring only twice during his career.
  • Karlsson's 62 points are 38% more than Bobby Ryan who is second on the team with 45 points. Orr's biggest difference was when he had 120 points in 1969-1970, 21% more than Phil Esposito who had 99.
  • The last time a defenceman was first in the NHL in assists was when Bobby Orr and Bobby Clarke were tied with 89 in 1974-1975. Karlsson currently leads Patrick Kane by seven assists.
  • The 91 points Karlsson is on pace for would be the highest in the league since 1993-1994. No defenceman has had more than 80 points since 1995-1996.
  • Bobby Ryan was held off the scoresheet in seven out of eight games from 29 December to 13 January. He followed that up with nine points in the next nine games and is now without a point in the last three.
  • After getting 33 points in the first 35 games, Ryan has slowed down with 12 in the last 20. He would be an attractive piece to move in the offseason in my opinion given that he is not a particularly strong driver of the play and his colossal contract.
  • Mike Hoffman has also slowed down largely due to a drop in the number of assists. He has just three assists in the last 20 games though he still has seven goals in that span. Unfortunately he is probably the more likely forward to be traded in the offseason.
  • Mark Stone scored his sixth goal in six games on Thursday.
  • Jean-Gabriel Pageau is tied for most goals by Senators centres with 13. Kyle Turris also has 13, Zack Smith has 12, Mika Zibanejad has 11.
  • Karlsson played 66:06 in the two games on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Alex Chiasson's promotion is nothing short of bizarre isn't it?
  • Kyle Turris does not have a goal since 14 December. Since then he has only five assists in 19 games.
  • Ottawa and Lumbus are tied for last in the NHL with 3.09 goals allowed per game.

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from www.puckon.net. Note that Corsi is now adjusted for score as well as the venue and event type.

Category Ottawa Lumbus
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 24 Brandon Saad 20
Assists Erik Karlsson 51 Nick Foligno 22
Points Erik Karlsson 62 Scott Hartnell 36
Shots Erik Karlsson 161 Brandon Saad 163
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 28:56 Jack Johnson 24:45

Category Ottawa Lumbus
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.80 7th 2.50 20th
Goals Against 3.09 29th 3.09 29th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.1% 25th 46.2% 28th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 46.6% 26th 46.5% 27th
Shots For 28.3 26th 28.6 25th
Shots Against 32.9 29th 31.2 24th