The Ottawa Senators will have a chance to move into first in the Atlantic division with a win over the Winnipeg Jets tonight. After last night’s decisive 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, they now sit two points behind the Montreal Canadiens with three games in hand, and four points ahead of the next best team. With the Habs struggling and the trade deadline approaching, now is definitely a good time for the Sens to make a move and secure an early lead in the playoff race.
The Jets are three points out of a playoff spot in the West with 59 points and are currently on a three game winning streak after a 3-1 victory over Montreal last night. Thanks Winnipeg!
Condon will make his first start since his shutout of the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. Bobby Ryan is out indefinitely with yet another hand injury, so Freddy Claesson will draw back into the lineup. The Sens are expected to go with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen. Here are the expected lines and pairings:
Some notes for tonight:
- It’s sad that we’ve reached a point where Ryan’s absence doesn’t make a huge difference for the team.
- Both teams are on the second half of a back-to-back tonight. This season, the Sens are 5-1-1 and the Jets are 4-4-2 when playing on the second half of a back-to-back.
- The Sens are starting to catch up to the rest of the league in Games Played: they now only have three games in hand over the Habs, and two over the Bruins.
- This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams: they will play each other again on April 1st.
- With 5 points last night, Mark Stone is now only 3 points behind Erik Karlsson for the team lead, with 46.
- Erik Karlsson is currently tied for 2nd in the NHL in blocked shots, with 145.
- Keep an eye on the out of town scoreboard tonight: the Leafs and Bruins are both in a position to overtake the Panthers for third in the division. Ottawa is only a few points ahead of each.
- Without getting too far of ourselves here, should the Sens even want the division lead? That would probably mean playing the first wildcard, which the Rangers are currently running away with. The Metropolitan division is so much stronger than the Atlantic, Ottawa might be better off in second, playing another Atlantic team.
- Also, can you imagine how annoying the media coverage would be if the Habs and Leafs played each other in the first round? No thank you.
- Brassard is quietly on a three game point streak, with five points in that time.
- Karlsson is on a five game point streak, with 49 on the season. Pretty impressive considering this is a bit of a down year for the captain.
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||21||Patrik Laine||28|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||47||Mark Scheifele||58|
|Shots||Mike Hoffman||155||Blake Wheeler||196|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||26:52||Dustin Byfuglien||27:26|
|Zone, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||48.31%||22nd||49.15%||20th|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||48.29%||24th||49.34%||20th|