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Game 40 Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Ottawa Senators

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Pens visit Sens on second half of back-to-back

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Pittsburgh Penguins
Kris Letang takes a seat to witness Mark Stone’s superhuman abilities.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

(Editor's note: We'd like to welcome Colin4000 as one of the newest members of our writing team!)

Returning from a three day break, the Senators look to get back on the winning side of things after going 1-3-1 in their last five games. Sunday night’s 5-3 win vs the Oilers was an uncharacteristically high scoring game for the Sens, who on average see just over five goals per game go in on either side. We’re bound to see a few of these games every season, and we may see another tonight considering what happened the last time these two teams met.

The Penguins are in tonight on the second half of a back-to-back, losing yesterday 5-2 to the Washington Capitals on Ovechkin’s 1,000th point night. Hopefully the well-rested Sens can take advantage against the defending Cup Champs, who currently sit 5th in the league.

Ottawa’s projected lineup for tonight, via the Sens’ Twitter:

Dzingel-Turris-Ryan
Smith-Brassard-Stone
Hoffman-Pageau-Pyatt
Kelly-Lazar-Neil

Methot-Karlsson
Phaneuf-Ceci
Borowiecki-Wideman

Condon (starter)
O’Connor

Some notes for tonight:

  • The Sens and Pens both sit in the third divisional seeds for their respective divisions, yet Pittsburgh has 11 more points than Ottawa in only one more game played.
  • McDavid in the last game, Crosby tonight. The reigning World Cup MVP Conn Smythe winner is not only second in league scoring, but to everybody’s surprise is running away with the goal scoring title. A lot of that can be attributed to his 22.4% shooting percentage (compared to his previous career average of 14.4%), but Crosby’s incredible work in close has further cemented himself as one of the best players to ever play the game.
  • Crosby and Malkin in particular should be very tired for tonight. Sid the Kid played 22:50 last night, his third highest of the season. Malkin also played 21:59, his fourth highest of the season.
  • MileSTONE watch: Mark Stone is currently sitting at 99 career assists, and could hit 100 tonight. He’s on quite roll too, scoring eleven points (3-8) in his last ten games. He had three points on Sunday vs Edmonton.
  • Ottawa’s lost four straight games to the Penguins, with their last win dating back April 7th 2015 during the miracle run. I think it’s safe to say we all remember that game.
  • Although Mike Condon will be playing in his 17th straight game tonight, he’s only had to do it in the span of 42 days, for an average of one game per 2.47 days. For comparison, the Sens’ regular season spans 179 days, making for an average of one game every 2.18 days.

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from Corsica.

Category Ottawa Edmonton
Player # Player #
Goals Kyle Turris 14 Sidney Crosby 26
Assists Erik Karlsson 25 Phil Kessel 28
Points Erik Karlsson 32 Sidney Crosby 45
Shots Mike Hoffman 105 Evgeni Malkin 126
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:06 Kris Letang 26:05

Category

Ottawa Pittsburgh
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.46 22nd 3.48 1st
Goals Against 2.59 11th 2.83 18th
Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 46.94% 25th 51.29% 11th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 47.26% 25th 52.61% 6th
Shots For 28.6 25th 34.8 1st
Shots Against 30.4 17th 32.6 26th