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Game 73 preview: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Pittsburgh Penguins on 23 March 2017.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators will look to make it two games in a row when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. The Senators did not play that well against Boston on Tuesday, but thanks in large part to Craig Anderson came away with a 3-2 win. The Penguins were up to their usual trash boy selves led by captain trash himself but did win 3-1 in Buffalo on Tuesday.

Mark Stone will not return tonight but there is a ray of hope that Fredrik Claesson could return if Mark Borowiecki is too banged up to play. Mike Condon will start in net.

Here are the likely lines and pairings:

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

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki/Claesson - Wideman

Condon (starter)
Anderson

Some notes for tonight:

  • Brent Burns is off tonight so Erik Karlsson has a chance to further close the gap on Burns. Burns has 70 points in 73 games while Karlsson has 66 in 72.
  • Tonight could be the night that Bobby Ryan finally shatters the 25-point mark for the season.
  • Mike Hoffman is on a four-game points streak with five points in that span. He has 14 points in 13 games since returning from injury.
  • Ottawa is now 27-4-2 when scoring first.
  • Karlsson is on pace for 75 points for the season. That would be the third highest total of his career.
  • Despite missing seven games, Hoffman is on pace for 61 points which would be a career high. He is tied with Karlsson for the team lead with 24 power play points.
  • I am not sure if it is just a coincidence or the Senators playing more conservatively with Condon, but Condon has faced 24 fewer shots than Anderson despite playing 132 more minutes.
  • While the Penguins are a very dangerous team, they do allow the fourth most shots in the league. Hopefully it results in an Erik point or two.
  • If the Leafs end up as the third seed and Ottawa avoids Boston, winning the division becomes a lot less important. I do want that division championship banner though...
  • Kyle Turris needs two more goals to set a career high.

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

Category Ottawa Pittsburgh
Player # Player #
Goals Kyle Turris 25 Sidney Crosby 41
Assists Erik Karlsson 52 Phil Kessel 41
Points Erik Karlsson 66 Sidney Crosby 81
Shots Erik Karlsson 201 Sidney Crosby 230
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 26:50 Kris Letang 25:31

Category

Ottawa Pittsburgh
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.60 19th 3.46 1st
Goals Against 2.57 10th 2.72 15th
Zone, score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.66% 26th 50.42% 14th
Score, Zone and venue adjusted Fenwick % 48.05% 24th 51.84% 6th
Shots For 30.0 19th 34.1 1st
Shots Against 30.5 17th 32.3 27th