With just over one-third of the season remaining, the Ottawa Senators will look to rebound from a frustrating loss on Tuesday with tonight's game in New Jersey against the Devils. Despite leading going into the third period and outshooting the Sabres 41-25 on the night, Ottawa came away with zero points. They remain in second place in the Atlantic Division, tied on points with four games in hand on Boston, and one point ahead of Toronto with two games in hand. The Devils won 3-2 against Colorado on Tuesday and have won three out of four to close within five points of the final wild card spot.
Curtis Lazar will return to the lineup for Chris Neil and Chris Wideman will replace Marc Methot who is sick. Mike Condon will start in net. Here are the expected lines and pairings for tonight.
Dzingel - Brassard - Stone
Hoffman - Turris - Smith
Pyatt - Pageau - Ryan
Kelly - Lazar - Wingels
Claesson - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman
Some notes for tonight:
- Tuesday night had to be Bobby Ryan's best game of the season. He had two points and six shots on goal.
- Mike Hoffman had seven shots on goal but could not find the back of the net. He is without a point in five straight games but has 17 shots in that span.
- Tonight will be Mike Condon's first appearance since Craig Anderson's return. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to being used as a backup goaltender again.
- Starting with tonight, Ottawa plays six of their remaining seven February games on the road.
- After going scoreless in three consecutive games, Erik Karlsson has an assist in the last two games.
- Dion Phaneuf and Cody Ceci have played 636 minutes together at 5-on-5. The Senators have 45% of the shot attempts and 41% of the goal with the pair on the ice together.
- While Ryan had a good game on Tuesday, you have to think that for the first time all season, Ottawa has their six best forwards in the top six.
- Phaneuf has tied Karlsson for the team goal scoring lead among defencemen. They both have eight goals.
- Hopefully the team stays focused on tonight's game and doesn't look ahead to Saturday's huge game in Toronto.
- I think Guy Boucher is a good coach that has solved a lot of Ottawa's defensive problems. However, I am not sure if he is the best person to correctly utilise Karlsson's talents. Or at least not so far.
- Before this season, the lowest share of the 5-on-5 shot attempts in a season Ottawa has had with Karlsson on the ice was 51.2%. This season Ottawa is getting 48.4% of the shot attempts with Karlsson on the ice.
- Lastly, I would like to wish good luck to Manchester United, the official football club of Silver Seven Sens [Editor's note: reference needed], as they play Saint Etienne in the great Pogba vs Pogba derby!
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from Corsica.
|Goals||Mark Stone||20||Kyle Palmieri||18|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||46||Taylor Hall||37|
|Shots||Mike Hoffman||152||Taylor Hall||154|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||26:56||Andy Greene||22:09|
|Zone, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||47.97%||23rd||47.44%||27th|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||47.90%||24th||47.84%||25th|