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Game 62 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Vancouver Canucks

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A preview of the game between Erik Karlsson's Ottawa Senators and the Vancouver Canucks on 25 February 2016.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

There is still time, but things are beginning to slip away after another disappointing game in Edmonton. Erik Karlsson was held without a point for the second consecutive game and for the third time in the last four games. Needless to say, the last four games haven't had the desired outcome at the end of the game and Karlsson faces an uphill battle to get to 90 points for the season.

On a secondary note, Ottawa has managed to win the last four games though and is four points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wild card spot, although the Penguins have played two fewer games. The Canucks are 10 points out of a playoff spot but hold four games in hand. But hey Don Cherry believes in them!

Patrick Wiercioch and Shane Prince will be the health scratches. On the other hand, His Royal Glue, King of the characters, defender of the teammates, reiner of the stars, Mark Borowiecki will be in the lineup.

Craig Anderson should start. Here is the likely lineup.

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

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Hammond

Some notes for tonight:

  • Erik Karlsson now needs 18 assists in 21 games to break the club record for assists in a single season. Getting tougher and tougher.
  • The Senators other top players are continuing to struggle as well. Bobby Ryan was held pointless for the fourth straight game, Mike Hoffman for the fifth straight game and Kyle Turris for the 13th straight game.
  • Mark Stone did have an assist as well as an empty net goal.
  • Ottawa has allowed just six goals during the four-game winning streak.
  • A win tonight would give the Senators their first five-game winning streak of the season.
  • The Senators have eight players with 11 or more goals.
  • After six straight games with over 30 minutes of ice time, the Senators were table to keep Erik Karlsson to a season low 21:19. That was his lowest ice time since 14 February 2015 when he played 21:07.
  • The Canucks are probably the best comparable to the Senators where they have just been muddling along in mediocrity since they stopped being contenders.
  • Bryan Murray sure seems to be sold on the emergence of Zack Smith, also known as shooting at 19.5%. Coming into this season, Smith shot 7.66% for his career. If he had scored on a similar ratio, he would have six goals and six assists for 12 points in 60 games.
  • Only the Winnipeg Jets have allowed more goals on the penalty kill than the Ottawa Senators' 49.
  • Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks in goals. Henrik Sedin leads the Canucks in assists. Same as always then.

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 Vancouver
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 24 Daniel Sedin 22
Assists Erik Karlsson 54 Henrik Sedin 36
Points Erik Karlsson 65 Daniel Sedin 52
Shots Erik Karlsson 186 Daniel Sedin 196
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 29:00 Alexander Edler 24:27

Category Ottawa Vancouver
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.79 8th 2.34 28th
Goals Against 3.00 26th 2.80 23rd
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.4% 22nd 46.6% 25th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 46.7% 26th 46.8% 25th
Shots For 28.2 27th 28.6 25th
Shots Against 33.0 30th 31.7 27th