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Game 63 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Calgary Flames

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Calgary Flames on 27 February 2016.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

A struggling Erik Karlsson will look to finish off the western Canadian road trip on a positive note in tonight's game against the Calgary Flames. Karlsson has gone three consecutive games without a point and will look to avoid going four straight games without a point for only the second time since 2012.

His teammates will go with the same lineup, meaning that Patrick Wiercioch and Shane Prince will be the healthy scratches. Mark Borowiecki will continue to play for an NHL team. Craig Anderson will start in net. Here is the likely lineup for Ottawa.

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:

  • Karlsson's quest to break Jason Spezza's club record for assists in a season is looking bleaker and bleaker. Now he needs 18 assists in 20 games.
  • Karlsson is +17 at home and -17 on the road.
  • Will Patrick Wiercioch be traded before Ottawa's next game against St. Louis on Tuesday? The trade deadline is on Monday. It will be a pity as he is a better player than Marc Methot, Cody Ceci, Mark Borowiecki and Chris Wideman, but clearly the management and coach don't think so.
  • The Flames traded Jiri Hudler to the Panthers today. They are eight points behind Ottawa, currently 28th overall in the NHL.
  • Thursday night was Ottawa's second regulation loss of the season when leading after two periods. They are now 18-2-1 when holding the lead going into the third.
  • Going into Saturday's games, Mike Hoffman was tied for 10th in the NHL with 25 goals.
  • The Senators have allowed 1.4 shots more per game than any other team in the NHL.
  • The refusal to trade Zack Smith at his peak value with almost nothing to play for this season is really disappointing. He is a fourth line centre making over $2 million next year. A 19.2 shooting percentage is clouding judgement. That is the main difference in the perception of Alex Chiasson and Smith.
  • Mark Stone has scored nine goals in 12 games in February. He is heating up just like he did around this time last season.
  • Will Kyle Turris ever score again!?
  • At the time of writing, the Penguins are leading the Jets 2-1. A Penguins victory would move them six points ahead of Ottawa for the final playoff spot and the Penguins would hold two games in hand.

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 Calgary
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 24 Johnny Gaudreau 22
Assists Erik Karlsson 54 Johnny Gaudreau 37
Points Erik Karlsson 65 Johnny Gaudreau 59
Shots Erik Karlsson 191 Johnny Gaudreau 159
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 29:01 TJ Brodie 25:38

Category Ottawa Calgary
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.79 7th 2.67 12th
Goals Against 3.03 28th 3.03 28th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.4% 22nd 47.2% 23rd
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 46.7% 26th 48.0% 22nd
Shots For 28.2 27th 28.9 23rd
Shots Against 33.1 30th 29.4 12th