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Game 64 preview: St. Louis Blues @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between Erik Karlsson's Ottawa Senators and the St. Louis Blues on 1 March 2016.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

After breaking out of a long slump, Erik Karlsson will hope that the good times continue to roll in tonight's game against the St. Louis Blues. Karlsson ended a run of three straight games without a point with a couple of assists on Saturday in Calgary. Ottawa won the game 6-4.

The Senators are six points behind the Penguins for the final wild card spot, with the Penguins holding two games in hand. The Bruins are eight points ahead of Ottawa with the same number of games played. As far as the lineup is concerned, Patrick Wiercioch will be a healthy scratch on defence with Mark Borowiecki playing for an NHL team. Matt Puempel will replaced the injured Kyle Turris and Craig Anderson will start. Here are the lines.

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

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Hammond

Some notes for tonight:

  • Karlsson now needs 16 assists in 19 games to break Jason Spezza's club record for assists in a single season.
  • Karlsson needs 14 points in 19 games to post the highest points total by a defenceman in 20 years. He also needs nine assists to post the highest assists total by a defenceman in 20 years.
  • Karlsson needs four more assists to break his own club record for most assists by a defenceman in a season.
  • Mark Stone finished the month of February with nine goals and seven assists for 16 points in 13 games.
  • With Turris out, Mika Zibanejad should get a great chance to boost his points total with #1 line minutes and the top unit on the power play. Zibanejad is currently on pace to set a career high with 51 points.
  • Bobby Ryan has two goals and no assists in the last 10 games.
  • Andrew Hammond has not played since his weak performance against Colorado on 11 February.
  • Zack Smith's hard work in the summer working on his shot continues to pay off with Karlsson's bouncing a puck off him into the net.
  • Craig Anderson has given up four goals in each of the last two games after allowing two or less in seven of the eight previous games.
  • The Senators are 5-4-0 and around a 50% Corsi team since the Dion Phaneuf trade.
  • Mike Hoffman is going to have two full seasons under his belt after this season. He had 27 goals last season and around 30 this year. With one more year until hitting UFA, he is going to be a rich man.
  • Vladimir Tarasenko is fifth in the NHL with 228 shots on goal.

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 St. Louis
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 25 Vladimir Tarasenko 29
Assists Erik Karlsson 56 Alexander Steen 30
Points Erik Karlsson 67 Vladimir Tarasenko 54
Shots Erik Karlsson 192 Vladimir Tarasenko 228
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 29:02 Alex Pietrangelo 26:36

Category Ottawa St. Louis
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.84 5th 2.45 24th
Goals Against 3.05 28th 2.38 7th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.5% 22nd 50.7% 14th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 46.9% 25th 50.9% 12th
Shots For 28.2 27th 29.6 16th
Shots Against 33.2 30th 29.7 14th