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
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.
|Goals||Mark Stone||22||Nikita Kucherov||23|
|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|
|Zone, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||47.96%||23rd||51.12%||10th|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||48.39%||24th||50.66%||12th|