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Game 68 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Carolina Hurricanes

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A preview of the game between Erik Karlsson's Ottawa Senators and the Carolina Hurricanes on 8 March 2016.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

After going pointless for the third straight game, Erik Karlsson has now just three points in his last eight games and is in severe danger of missing out on the 90 points threshold. He is still tied for third in the NHL with 68 points but the gap between him and the chasing pack is closing.

Dave Cameron will go with the same hilarious lineup for tonight's game. Patrick Wiercioch will be a scratch, Mike Hoffman will be on the fourth line, Bobby Ryan will be on the third line, Alex Chiasson will be on the second line. Andrew Hammond is expected to start. Here is the rest of the lineup:

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

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Kostka - Wideman

Hammond (starter)
Driedger

Some notes for tonight:

  • Ottawa could move into 10th place in the East with a win tonight.
  • The Senators actually played a really good game against Dallas, considering the opponent and the fact the game started less than 24 hours after their game against the Leafs.
  • Since the starts of 2014-2015, Mike Hoffman is tied for eighth in the NHL with 36 goals at 5-on-5. Only Alex Ovechkin, Vladimir Tarasenko, Tyler Seguin, Patrick Kane, Filip Forsberg, Matt Duchene, Steven Stamkos have more.
  • This is to say Hoffman is not just a good goal scorer. He is an elite goal scorer. Some of it is that Hoffman has a really high shooting percentage, but he is also 40th in 5-on-5 shots on goal in that span. And no one would argue that Hoffman has an excellent shot.
  • Which makes Hoffman's demotion in a lost season really baffling. This team is such a mess.
  • Dion Phaneuf has seven points in 13 games with Ottawa.
  • Even the most optimistic fan would struggle to get excited for reasons to watch the final 15 games. They are too far out of a playoff spot, they are too far ahead of a really top pick. Erik Karlsson and Mark Stone provide some wow moments, but there isn't much else going on.
  • The Senators have seven games remaining at home and eight on the road.
  • Erik Karlsson is up to 15th in the league in shots on goal now. He is shooting 5.3% for the season.
  • I don't have a problem Scott Gomez as a stop-gap to see out the season, but is anyone else worried that he might be extended for a veteran presence or something along those lines?

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 Carolina
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 25 Jeff Skinner 23
Assists Erik Karlsson 57 Viktor Rask 24
Points Erik Karlsson 68 Jordan Staal 40
Shots Erik Karlsson 208 Jeff Skinner 195
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 29:08 Justin Faulk 24:29

Category Ottawa Carolina
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.79 8th 2.44 25th
Goals Against 3.03 27th 2.65 18th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.5% 23rd 51.0% 12th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 47.0% 24th 49.8% 18th
Shots For 28.5 27th 30.1 13th
Shots Against 33.3 30th 26.8 1st