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Game 54 preview: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between Erik Karlsson's Ottawa Senators and the Tampa Bay Lightning on 8 February 2016.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Erik Karlsson will look to keep the good times rolling in tonight's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. His four points on Saturday took him to 12 points in the last nine games. With points in eight of the last nine games, Karlsson's 59 points have moved him into a tie for the final wild card spot with the Pittsburgh Penguins although the Penguins hold two games in hand.

The Ottawa Senators on the other hand are still five points out and will need to put together a big winning streak to get back into the race. The Lightning have won 10 of their last 11 games to pull themselves from being a playoff bubble team to battling for home ice and possibly the division title.

Jared Cowen and Nick Paul will be the healthy scratches for Ottawa and Craig Anderson will start in net. Here are the lines and pairings from Dean Brown.

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

Methot - Karlsson
Borowiecki - Ceci
Wiercioch - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Hammond

Some notes for tonight:

  • Erik Karlsson is on pace for 91 points this year and is tied with Jamie Benn for second in the league in scoring. His 48 assists are now four ahead of Patrick Kane for the league lead.
  • Karlsson is not just the "best" defenceman offensively, but he is in another world. He has 15 more points than any other defenceman. Compared to this closest challenger for the Norris Trophy, Karlsson has 40 even strength points while Drew Doughty has 15.
  • It isn't just secondary assists padding Karlsson's point totals. His 26 primary assists are five more than any other defenceman. Only Evgeny Kuznetsov and Kane have more primary assists than Karlsson among all skaters.
  • Mark Stone has a goal in three straight games while Jean-Gabriel Pageau has four points in his last three games.
  • Karlsson played 24:30 in Saturday's blowout, his lowest ice time since playing 22:37 on 14 October.
  • At 5-on-5, the Senators are +79 in shot attempts with Karlsson on the ice and -359 without him. In terms of scoring chances, they are +2 with Karlsson and -161 without him.
  • Karlsson needs 24 more assists in the next 29 games to break Jason Spezza's club record for assists in a season.
  • Bobby Ryan is on pace for 70 points in a season for the second time in his career. His career high was 71 in 2010-2011.
  • Five of the Senators ten shorthanded goals have been scored by Pageau.
  • Karlsson has been on the ice for 90 of Ottawa's 148 goals. Patrick Kane is second, being on the ice for 89 Chicago goals.

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 Tampa Bay
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 23 Steven Stamkos 21
Assists Erik Karlsson 48 Victor Hedman 26
Points Erik Karlsson 59 Nikita Kucherov 45
Shots Erik Karlsson 153 Steven Stamkos 148
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 28:48 Victor Hedman 22:35

Category Ottawa Tampa Bay
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.79 8th 2.69 10th
Goals Against 3.11 29th 2.31 7th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 46.9% 24th 52.4% 5th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 46.3% 27th 52.4% 5th
Shots For 28.4 26th 28.9 21st
Shots Against 33.1 30th 28.2 7th