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Game 61 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Tampa Bay Lightning

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Tampa Bay Lightning on 27 February 2017.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators will look to end their four-game road trip with a third win when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight. Ottawa welcomed back star forwards Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone to the lineup last night in the 2-1 win over Florida. The Lightning are finally starting to play a little better, but it is likely too late for them, as they are seven points behind Toronto for the final playoff spot.

With Craig Anderson playing last night and facing a barrage of shots, it will almost certainly be Mike Condon in net. It is possible Fredrik Claesson or Curtis Lazar will draw in, but as it is a back-to-back game, there will be no morning skate.

Here are the lines based on the players that played last night:

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

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman

Condon (starter)
Anderson

Some notes for tonight:

  • Erik Karlsson played 5.5 minutes fewer than Cody Ceci and 6.5 minutes fewer than Dion Phaneuf last night. What a time to be alive!
  • With the two points last night, Karlsson has 15 points in 13 games after the All-Star break. He looks set to lead the team in scoring for the fourth consecutive season.
  • If you were told before the start of the season that Ottawa would be 10 points ahead of Tampa after 60 games, that would have been sheer insanity.
  • The Senators improved to a league best 23-3-2 when scoring the first goal.
  • Ottawa is 19-6-2 when getting outshot this season. A part of that might be how much Guy Boucher has them fall into a shell when protecting leads at the end.
  • The Senators are eighth in the NHL with 1.20 points per game.
  • Ottawa is eighth in the NHL killing of 83.4% of opposition power play opportunities. They are 22nd in shot attempts allowed at 4-on-5 but 13th in unblocked shot attempts allowed. In shots allowed on goal at 4-on-5 they are ninth.
  • That would imply that shot blocking and keeping shots outside is a big part of the penalty kill strategy. A big reason for that is our friend Erik Karlsson. Among defencemen with 100+ minutes at 4-on-5, he's 22nd in on-ice shots allowed per 60.
  • The Senators are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games following a loss but they are also 2-4-2 in their last eight games following a win.
  • Kyle Turris needs six goals in the last 22 games to set a career high for goals. He had six shots as well as a goal last night.
  • With Ben Bishop gone, the Lightning are obviously going to go with Andrei Vasilevskiy for the rest of the year. They are going to need a crazy run to make the playoffs.
  • The two clubs have split their first two meetings this season. They will meet one more time in March in Ottawa.
  • Ottawa and Tampa Bay have pretty similar shots and goals totals. The difference is that Ottawa 24-10-6 in games decided by one or two goals while Tampa Bay is 12-16-8. The Lightning are 15-9 in games decided by three or more.

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

Category Ottawa Tampa Bay
Player # Player #
Goals Mark Stone 22 Nikita Kucherov 23
Assists Erik Karlsson 44

Victor Hedman

39
Points Erik Karlsson 54 Nikita Kucherov 54
Shots Mike Hoffman 165 Nikita Kucherov 171
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 26:43 Victor Hedman 24:19

Category

Ottawa Tampa Bay
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.60 19th 2.72 17th
Goals Against 2.60 10th 2.78 17th
Zone, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.96% 23rd 51.12% 10th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 48.39% 24th 50.66% 12th
Shots For 29.8 18th 30.0 16th
Shots Against 30.3 15th 29.9 12th