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Game 62 preview: Colorado Avalanche @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Colorado Avalanche on 2 March 2017.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

After having played six out of their previous seven games on the road, the Ottawa Senators will return home for three straight at home starting with tonight's game against the Colorado Avalanche. The Senators have alternated wins and losses in the previous six games and are coming off a 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. The Avalanche have long been a lost cause and went down 4-0 against Philadelphia on Tuesday. They have lost 44 out of their 61 games this season.

Both Alex Burrows and Viktor Stålberg will make their Senators debut tonight while Craig Anderson will start in net. Here are the expected lines and pairings for the Senators.

Burrows - Brassard - Stone
Smith - Turris - Hoffman
Dzingel - Pageau - Pyatt
Stålberg - Kelly - Wingels

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Condon

Some notes for tonight:

  • The Bruins have crept up into a tie on points with the Senators with Ottawa holding two games in hand. Although as far as the automatic playoff qualification goes, the Senators are still three points ahead of Toronto with a game in hand as well as the tiebreaker.
  • Ooh aah Stålberg say ooh aah Stålberg!? Fun fact: the Swedish å is pronounced kind of like the o in stole.
  • Burrows is not Swedish so we will move on from that.
  • Erik Karlsson is back in the top 20 in league scoring, currently sitting in a tie for 19th with 55 points. The other defencemen for Ottawa have combined for 66 points.
  • Mike Hoffman has two assists and eight shots on goal in two games since returning from injury.
  • Tommy Wingels scored a goal in his first game with Ottawa but does not have a point in the 14 games since then.
  • Ottawa is going to play three of the worst teams in the league four times over the next six games. After tonight, they play Lumbus and Boston at home before going on the road to Dallas, Arizona and Colorado.
  • After the first periods on Monday, the Senators were looking like they might end the night level on points with Montréal. Now they are six points back.
  • Of the 21 remaining games for Ottawa, 12 are away and nine are at home.
  • Despite the prices paid, the Senators bottom definitely is better than when the likes of Chris Neil or Curtis Lazar were playing. When Bobby Ryan returns, it should be a very good bottom six.
  • Amazingly, Colorado has a goal difference of -81 excluding the shootout. They are averaging just under two goals scored per game.
  • Nathan MacKinnon has a shooting percentage of just 6.1% on 197 shots this season.
  • Senators legend Patrick Wiercioch will make his return to Ottawa tonight.

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 Mark Stone 22 Matt Duchene 16
Assists Erik Karlsson 45

Nathan MacKinnon

29
Points Erik Karlsson 55 Nathan MacKinnon 41
Shots Mike Hoffman 170 Nathan MacKinnon 197
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 26:43 Tyson Barrie 23:27

Category

Ottawa Colorado
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.57 19th 1.98 30th
Goals Against 2.64 12th 3.31 30th
Zone, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.97% 23rd 46.85% 29th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 48.36% 24th 46.61% 29th
Shots For 30.0 16th 28.3 25th
Shots Against 30.4 17th 32.3 27th