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Game 56 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Toronto Maple Leafs

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs on 18 February 2017.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs will meet in the fourth final Ontario derby of the season when they play in Toronto tonight. The Senators shutout New Jersey 3-0 on Thursday and have won three out of four since a pair of 4-0 and 6-0 losses to Buffalo and St. Louis. The Leafs lost 5-2 in Lumbus on Wednesday and are currently in the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Chris Neil will return to the lineup for Curtis Lazar and Marc Methot will replace Fredrik Claesson. Craig Anderson will start in net. Here are the expected lines and pairings.

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

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Condon

Some notes for tonight:

  • The Leafs have led in the third period of all three meetings with Ottawa this season. In the first meeting, Ottawa tied it with 13:15 remaining and won in overtime. In the second meeting the Leafs won 4-2 and in the third meeting, Ottawa tied it with 1:11 remaining and then won in a shootout.
  • With both clubs having four points against each other, the winner of tonight's game will own the second tiebreaker. A regulation win for Ottawa would see them five points clear of Toronto with a game in hand.
  • Since the start of 2017, Ottawa is 10th in the NHL in score adjusted Corsi at 51.0% while Toronto is 13th at 50.5%.
  • A big part of Ottawa's ranking is how well they play when trailing. They are third in the NHL since the start of the new year with a Corsi % of 59.1 when trailing by one goal.
  • Bobby Ryan has points in consecutive games for the first time since a three-game streaking between 12 January to 17 January.
  • Ottawa has allowed only two empty net goals this season while scoring 12 themselves. The standings show the Senators with a goal difference of +2 but that is actually -11 without counting empty net goals and shootouts.
  • The Leafs allow the third most shots in the NHL at 32.5 per game. They also get the third most shots at 32.7 per game.
  • Ottawa has either been shutout or shutout the opposition in four of the past six games.
  • Fredrik Claesson played pretty well on Thursday but unfortunately will not play tonight. That is too bad.
  • The Panthers have won three in a row to close within four points of Ottawa. Still, many teams would have to pass Ottawa for them to miss the playoffs.
  • The Leafs will be without their points leader, Mitch Marner, who is out with injury.

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

Category Ottawa Toronto
Player # Player #
Goals Mark Stone 20 Auston Matthews 27
Assists Erik Karlsson 38

Mitchell Marner

33
Points Erik Karlsson 47 Mitchell Marner 48
Shots Mike Hoffman 155 Auston Matthews 196
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 26:54 Nikita Zaitsev 22:23

Category

Ottawa Toronto
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.62 18th 3.09 6th
Goals Against 2.64 11th 2.88 22nd
Zone, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 48.25% 22nd 51.27% 8th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 48.15% 24th 50.65% 12th
Shots For 29.5 21st 32.7 3rd
Shots Against 30.0 13th 32.5 28th