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Game 67 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Colorado Avalanche

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A preview for tonight’s game in Mile High City

The Ottawa Senators (38-22-6) visit the last place Colorado Avalanche (19-44-3) for the second time in two weeks. Their last meeting saw the Senators come out on top in a way-too-close-for-comfort 2-1 victory. The game wraps up Ottawa’s three game road trip, heading back home on Tuesday to face the Tampa Bay Lightning

A win tonight would put the Sens into first place in the Atlantic division. We currently sit a mere two points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the division title, although the extra game in hand would give us the tiebreaker.

Here’s the expected lineup, from Daily Faceoff:

Hoffman - Brassard - Burrows
Dzingel - Smith - DiDomenico
Varone - Pageau - Pyatt
Stalberg - Kelly - Wingels

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Claesson - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Condon

Some notes for tonight:

  • Ottawa will look to extend their season-high five game win streak to six games tonight. The last time they won six consecutive goes back to The Hamburglar Run in 2015, winning seven in a row from March 12-23.
  • Chris DiDomenico is expected to play his second NHL game tonight. Although his debut didn’t go quite as expected with two quick penalties, let’s hope he can find the scoresheet for his first NHL point.
  • Kyle Turris will miss his third consecutive game, out with a finger injury. Between him and Ryan, the Sens have now lost 14 man games this season from injured fingers.
  • Craig Anderson is tied with Sergei Bobrovsky for the league lead in wins since March 1st (4). Andy also leads all goalies with at least ten starts since February 1st in save percentage (.944).
  • The win streak has seen some Sens players catch fire offensively, most notably Mike Hoffman (7 points in last 7 games) and Erik Karlsson (17 points in last 14 games).
  • One player who’s gone cold, however, is Ryan Dzingel. He’s gone without a point in his last eight games, without a goal in his last ten, and has a combined three points in his last eighteen games.
  • Tom Pyatt is also sporting an eleven game pointless drought, with his last goal or assist dating back to January 12th. It appears the analytics have finally caught up.
  • Phil Varone will also be making an appearance tonight, in place of Mark Stone who's out with a lower body injury. Varone currently leads Binghamton with 42 points, and was on a three game point streak before being recalled.
  • Colorado, meanwhile, is having a historically bad season. They’re on pace for 55 regulation losses, the most since the 1999-2000 expansion Atlanta Thrashers (57 regulation losses).
  • This is the perfect example of why preseason games can’t be trusted, as the Avalanche went a perfect 6-0 in their 2016-17 preseason.
  • That doesn’t mean they don’t have a chance. They come into tonight's game on a two game win streak, defeating the Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday, and the Devils 3-2 on Thursday.
  • Should they win tonight, it will be their first three game win streak of the season, and their first since preseason March of last season.

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

Category Ottawa Colorado
Player # Player #
Goals Kyle Turris/Mark Stone 22 Matt Duchene 16
Assists Erik Karlsson 48 Nathan MacKinnon 30
Points Erik Karlsson 61 Nathan MacKinnon 44
Shots Mike Hoffman 182 Nathan MacKinnon 208
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 26:39 Tyson Barrie 23:18

Category

Ottawa Colorado
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.64 19th 1.95 30th
Goals Against 2.58 10th 3.27 30th
Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.91% 22nd 45.95% 29th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 48.24% 24th 46.72% 28th
Shots For 30.0 18th 28.0 27th
Shots Against 30.4 15th 32.1 26th