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Game 51 preview: St. Louis Blues @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the St. Louis Blues on 7 February 2017.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing loss in Buffalo, the Ottawa Senators return home for four straight games beginning with tonight's matchup with the St. Louis Blues. Despite the 4-0 loss, Ottawa comfortably remains in second place in the Atlantic Division. They are two points ahead of Toronto and Boston with a game in hand on Toronto and five in hand on Boston.

The Blues won 2-0 last night in Philadelphia despite getting only 16 shots on goal, with 11 of them coming in the second period. They currently hold the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference.

In a shocking turn of events, Andrew Hammond will start in net for Ottawa. Mike Condon was pulled against Buffalo and had started the previous 18 games. The other change will be Chris Neil returning for Curtis Lazar and Fredrik Claesson will be the other healthy scratch. Here are the expected lines and pairings.

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

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman

Hammond (starter)
Condon

Some notes for tonight:

  • In addition to 18 consecutive starts, Condon has made an appearance in 27 consecutive games.
  • Andrew Hammond has made five appearances so far this season, with three of them being starts. In two of the three starts he did not finish the game.
  • Saturday night was Ottawa's biggest loss since a 5-1 loss in Anaheim on 11 December.
  • Ottawa has not lost consecutive games in regulation since a pair of losses to Washington to start 2017.
  • The Senators have outshot the opposition 108-81 in the three games since the All-Star break.
  • Only the Colorado Avalanche have played fewer games than Ottawa so far.
  • It really is surprising how long it took to get Andrew Hammond back in net isn't it? With Craig Anderson almost back, will this be Hammond's last appearance of the season?
  • Bobby Ryan has had zero or one shot on goal in 23 out of his 44 games this season. He's on pace for 19 goals and 17 assists in 76 games this season. He's 11th on the team in shots on goal. This season has been nothing but a disaster for him.
  • Thanks to the shutout loss, no one is on a points streak! :-(
  • The Blues are tied for last place in the NHL with 27.4 shots on goal per game. With them getting only 16 shots last night, this should be as good a chance as any to get Hammond a game.
  • St. Louis games have combined for 50 shots on goal between themselves and their opponents. The next lowest is 56.5 in Los Angeles Kings games.
  • Mike Hoffman has a shot on goal in every game he has played since 7 December including 13 over the past three.
  • The Blues are 29th in shots on goal but 10th in goal scored. They are fourth in shots allowed but 26th in goals allowed.
  • Tonight will be Erik Karlsson's 300th consecutive regular season game since returning from the Achilles 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 St. Louis
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 18 Vladimir Tarasenko 23
Assists Erik Karlsson 36

Vladimir Tarasenko

27
Points Erik Karlsson 44 Vladimir Tarasenko 50
Shots Mike Hoffman 140 Vladimir Tarasenko 170
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:03 Alex Pietrangelo 24:52

Category

Ottawa St. Louis
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.66 17th 2.79 10th
Goals Against 2.68 14th 3.04 26th
Zone, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.77% 24th 50.29% 15th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 48.07% 24th 50.10% 16th
Shots For 29.3 22nd 27.4 29th
Shots Against 30.1 13th 27.6 4th