The Ottawa Senators enter the fourth game of a five game road trip still looking for their first win, when they visit the Winnipeg Jets tonight. Without Erik Karlsson, the Senators surrendered without a fight against the Wild and lost 5-1 on Thursday night. The Jets have been eliminated from playoff contention but did come back to win 4-3 against Anaheim on Thursday.
Both Karlsson and Zack Smith have returned to Ottawa and presumably will play not play against Detroit on Monday either. With Marc Methot also out, the Senators will ice a paper thin defensive lineup and with the team struggling to score as well, it might not be pretty.
Nevertheless, the game has to be played and Mike Condon will start in net. Here are the likely lines and pairings.
Dzingel - Turris - Ryan
Burrows - Brassard - Stone
Hoffman - Pageau - Pyatt
Stålberg - Kelly - WIngels
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman
Claesson - Jokipakka
Some notes for tonight:
- Without Karlsson, Ottawa might struggle to hold onto home ice advantage. However, they are still six points clear of a playoff spot with six games left.
- Defensive issues aside, there are too many forwards not contributing. Has anyone aside from Kyle Turris or Mike Hoffman done much over the last few weeks?
- Ottawa is the only playoff team with a negative goal difference.
- The Senators play five games over the final week so perhaps Erik getting a little rest isn't the worst case? Guy Boucher did say the injury isn't serious.
- Ottawa has scored 15 goals in nine games.
- Bobby Ryan is going to struggle to get to 30 points barring a hot finish. What an unmitigated disaster that has become.
- The Senators could drop to third tonight with a Leafs non-shootout win and a Senators regulation loss.
- Condon has given up two goals or fewer in each of his previous four starts. This looks real.
- The Senators still have seven players that have played every game this season.
- Patrik Laine has just two goals and no assists in his last 10 games. He is going to explode tonight isn't he?
- Mark Scheifele has certainly turned out to be the better draft pick than Mika Zibanejad eh?
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from Corsica.
|Goals||Kyle Turris||26||Patrik Laine||34|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||53||Mark Scheifele||48|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||68||Mark Scheifele||78|
|Shots||Erik Karlsson||208||Blake Wheeler||246|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||26:52||Dustin Byfuglien||27:29|
|Zone, score and venue adjusted Corsi %||47.70%||26th||49.20%||21st|
|Score, Zone and venue adjusted Fenwick %||48.03%||23rd||49.39%||21st|