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Game 78 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Minnesota Wild

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Minnesota Wild on 31 March 2016.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Having been eliminated from playoff contention last night, the Ottawa Senators will look to win a game in the United States for the first time since 18 January when they visit the Minnesota Wild. Ottawa will be without the injured Mark Stone who will be replaced by Scott Gomez. Michael Kostka will be a healthy scratch and be replaced by Ben Harpur making his NHL debut. Craig Anderson will start in net against the Wild who have won six in a row.

Here is my guess for the lineup tonight:

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

Claesson - Karlsson
Methot - Ceci
Harpur - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Hammond

Some notes for tonight:

  • The Senators are a miracle not happening away from missing the playoffs for the third straight year. Bryan Murray likely faces no consequences for this. Sad.
  • Erik Karlsson is under a point per game for the first time since having 14 points in 15 games after the game on 10 November.
  • Craig Anderson has a 90.1 save percentage on the road compared with 92.9 at home.
  • This will be the third league Ben Harpur plays in this season. He has played 43 games in the AHL as well as four games in the ECHL.
  • Last night's goal was Alex Chiasson's first game winning goal of the season. Chiasson has three goals in the last six games.
  • Since a run of six goals and three assists for nine points in nine games from 16 January to 6 February, Bobby Ryan has three goals and five assists for eight points in the last 24 games.
  • Mike Hoffman has played exactly 14:47 in each of the last two games.
  • Zack Smith is tied for third on the team with Ryan at 22 goals. With Stone injured and Smith only a goal behind, there is a decent chance that he might finish in second place.
  • Fearless warrior Karlsson leads the team with 163 blocked shots, 43 more than second place Cody Ceci.
  • Mika Zibanejad's seven game winning goals are tied for eighth in the NHL.
  • Chris Neil is third in the NHL with 151 penalty minutes. He is a true something something.
  • Tonight is Ottawa's last back-to-back on the season.

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 Minnesota
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 27 Zach Parise
24
Assists Erik Karlsson 62 Ryan Suter
41
Points Erik Karlsson 76 Mikko Koivu 55
Shots Erik Karlsson 235 Zach Parise 220
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 29:05 Ryan Suter 28:38

Category Ottawa Minnesota
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.77 9th 2.69 15th
Goals Against 2.97 28th 2.44 6th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.7% 22nd 48.3% 21st
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 47.2% 23rd 49.1% 21st
Shots For 28.3 27th 29.0 22nd
Shots Against 32.8 30th 28.8 8th