The Ottawa Senators return to action after almost a full week off when they host the Washington Capitals tonight. The Senators last game was also against the Capitals, a 2-1 loss in Washington on New Year's Day. Ottawa remains in second place in the Atlantic Division, now tied in points with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins but with a game in hand on Toronto and four games in hand on Boston.
With Tampa Bay and Florida also playing today and both clubs being two points back of the three-way tie, in theory there could be a five-way tie by the end of the night! Craig Anderson is still out so Mike Condon will continue to start. Here is the projected lineup for the Senators.
Dzingel - Turris - Ryan
Smith - Brassard - Stone
Hoffman - Pageau - Pyatt
Kelly - Lazar - Neil
Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman
Some notes for tonight:
- After losing six times in their first 23 games decided by one or two goals (17-3-3), the Senators lost three in a week going 0-2-1 in one-goal games.
- No one has played fewer games than Ottawa's 37 this season.
- The Bruins are on pace to finish with 88 points this season. The benchmark for a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division might be rather low.
- Since scoring a goal in three straight games from 3 December to 7 December, Erik Karlsson is without a goal in 10 straight games.
- Karlsson already has had five games without a shot on goal this season. He hasn't had more than five games without a shot on goal in a season since 2010-2011.
- Mike Hoffman will once again start the game on the third line because...reasons.
- Bobby Ryan is without a point in four straight games. He is on pace for 34 points in 77 games this season.
- Everyone seems rather excited by Thomas Chabot these days eh?
- Ottawa plays the next four games at home as well as seven of the next ten games.
- The Senators have allowed the 18th fewest shots per game this season. They haven't been outside the bottom 10 since 2010-2011. That is certainly one area where Guy Boucher has had a big positive influence.
- Mike Condon has seen his save percentage with the Senators drop to 91.6%.
- Despite not having won a game for 16 days, the Senators are still in line to get home ice in the first round. This is a pretty good spot to be in.
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from Corsica.
|Goals||Kyle Turris||13||Alex Ovechkin||18|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||32||Nicklas Backstrom||32|
|Shots||Mike Hoffman||102||Alex Ovechkin||148|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||27:08||John Carlson||23:29|
|Zone, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||47.29%||26th||53.44%||2nd|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||47.92%||23rd||52.43%||4th|