After getting a single point out of the game against the Buffalo Sabres, Erik Karlsson returns to the Ottawa Senators after playing in Sunday's All-Star game. The Senators are just about still in the playoff race, sitting 12th in the east with the Penguins three points ahead in the final playoff spot. The Penguins also hold two games in hand.
Marc Methot will return to the lineup but Kyle Turris is still out injured. Craig Anderson will start in net. Here are the lines and pairings lines from Gord Wilson.
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Smith - Pageau - Stone
Dziurzynski - Lazar - Chiasson
Prince - McCormick - Neil
Wiercioch - Karlsson
Methot - Wideman
Borowiecki - Ceci
Some notes for tonight:
- Maybe the Senators will go on a bit of a run and make the playoffs before losing in the first round. But even if that happens, there are not a lot of things going for this team aside from Erik Karlsson. At least for me. Sad to see during his best years.
- Karlsson's 52 points rank him fourth in the NHL, and just one point behind Tyler Seguin for third.
- Mike Hoffman is ninth in NHL with 22 goals and seventh with 16 even strength goals.
- Bobby Ryan has a goal in three straight games and a point in six straight games.
- The Senators have got 56.6% of the shot attempts in 125 minutes of Patrick Wiercioch and Erik Karlsson together.
- The final playoff spot in the east is currently on pace to be 94 points. Ottawa needs 43 points in 32 games or the equivalent of 20-9-3 to pass that.
- Ottawa does have a fairly easy schedule in February with games largely against non-playoff teams or bubble teams.
- That is an ugly looking bottom nine among the forwards isn't it?
- Thanks to all the talk of the new arena, it has provided some relief from the current state of the team. Remember after the last game Erik Karlsson correctly pointed out the lack of skill on the team.
- The Penguins lead the NHL in shots per game while the Senators are last in shots 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.
|Goals||Mike Hoffman||22||Evgeni Malkin||23|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||41||Kris Letang||27|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||52||Evgeni Malkin||47|
|Shots||Erik Karlsson||145||Patric Hornqvist||155|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||28:51||Kris Letang||26:16|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||46.7%||26th||50.4%||15th|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||46.1%||29th||50.4%||16th|