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Game 64 preview: Boston Bruins @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Boston Bruins on 6 March 2017.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

With a playoff spot all but clinched, the Ottawa Senators will look to further cement home ice advantage in the first round when they play the Boston Bruins tonight. Ottawa is currently second in the division, two points ahead of Boston with two games in hand.

The Senators have won two in a row and will look to win three in a row for the first time since mid-January. The Bruins have won eight of their previous 10 games to climb back into playoff position. Ottawa won the only meeting against Boston this season but the two clubs will play three more times including tonight.

Dion Phaneuf is sick and may not play tonight, otherwise the lineup is expected to be the same with Craig Anderson starting. Here are the likely lines and pairings.

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

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Condon

Some notes for tonight:

  • Ottawa will play 19 games in 35 days to end the season, including five games during the final seven days of the season.
  • A regulation win tonight would leave Ottawa four points ahead of Boston with two games in hand and Boston having 16 games left. A regulation loss would leave them level on points. A big game tonight then eh lads and lassies?
  • Erik Karlsson was really flying on Saturday wasn't he? Fantastic performance. He has 17 points in 16 games after the all-star break. I really feel he should be taking more risks because he is quick enough to get back if things don't work out.
  • Aside from a 3-2 loss to Buffalo on 14 February, Craig Anderson has a save percentage of 91.9% or higher in every game since his return. He has a 93.0 save percentage in 27 games this season.
  • Both Alex Burrows and Viktor Stålberg have scored since joining Ottawa.
  • After tonight, the Senators have just six of their remaining 18 games at home.
  • If Dion Phaneuf can't go, Fredrik Claesson will take his place in the lineup.
  • There is a decent chance that Ottawa and Boston will play each other in the playoffs.
  • Remember when Brad Marchand used to be seen as a very effective pest? He's become a superstar player now, being on pace for 85 points this season.
  • Patrice Bergeron is shooting just 6.8% on 235 shots this season.
  • Ottawa has scored the second most empty net goals in the NHL with 15 and allowed the fewest empty net goals with 2.

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

Category Ottawa Boston
Player # Player #
Goals Mark Stone 22 Brad Marchand 29
Assists Erik Karlsson 45 Brad Marchand 38
Points Erik Karlsson 56 Brad Marchand 67
Shots Mike Hoffman 176 Patrice Bergeron 235
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 26:41 Zdeno Chara 23:13

Category

Ottawa Boston
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.57 19th 2.74 13th
Goals Against 2.60 11th 2.58 10th
Zone, score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.88% 23rd 55.10% 1st
Score, Zone and venue adjusted Fenwick % 48.39% 24th 55.95% 1st
Shots For 30.1 17th 33.9 2nd
Shots Against 30.2 15th 26.4 2nd