The Ottawa Senators will look to take a stranglehold (no death threats intended to any members of the Ottawa media) of their first round series when they play game four tonight in Boston. Ottawa avoided disaster by winning in overtime after blowing a 3-0 lead, and it has to feel like the pressure is off a little bit tonight. Even if they lose, it is 2-2 and the Senators have home ice advantage. For the Bruins though, a defeat sends them into a 3-1 hole, which an NHL team has overturned only 28 times in 291 series.
The Senators will go with the exact same lineup as Monday while the Bruins will welcome Colin Miller back. Here are the likely lines and pairings for Ottawa.
Hoffman - Smith - Stone
Stålberg - Brassard - Ryan
Dzingel - Turris - Burrows
MacArthur - Pageau - Pyatt
Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Harpur - Wideman
Here are the likely lines and pairings for Boston.
Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrňák
Stafford - Krejčí - Backes
Schaller - Spooner - Vatrano
Moore - Nash - Acciari
Chára - McAvoy
Morrow - K. Miller
Liles - C. Miller
Some notes for tonight:
- Erik Karlsson is getting a lot of deserved good press for his performance on Monday. But how good was Mike Hoffman though? Two amazing goals, plus a goal post and eight shots on net. Did you know I really like Mike Hoffman?
- It's a good thing Bobby Ryan scored the overtime winner or that play for the 3-2 goal would have lived on for a while. Ryan leading the team in shots and four points in three games is certainly a big surprise for me.
- Ottawa has won both games despite Craig Anderson. That has to be almost encouraging given that we can usually expect him to be much better.
- The Senators have allowed a playoff low of 24.7 shots per game and also a playoff low of 23.7 shots per 60 minutes.
- At 5-on-5 they have allowed 23.3 shots per 60 minutes, which is the second best in the playoffs.
- At 5-on-5, the Sens are outshooting the opposition 38-19 and outchancing (by the Corsica definition) 10-2 when Erik Karlsson is on the ice. When Karlsson is off the ice, the Bruins hold the edge 39-26 in shots and 13-6 in scoring chances.
- Karlsson has been on the ice for seven out of the nine goals Ottawa has scored this series.
- Mark Stone had four shots on goal in game three. That was the most shots he has had since 18 February when he had five shots and five points against Toronto.
- The Senators scored six consecutive goals in the series before Boston's 3-1 goal.
- Ottawa has now beaten Boston six times out of seven games this season.
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from Corsica.
|Goals||Bobby Ryan||2||David Pastrňák||1|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||4||David Pastrňák||2|
|Points||Bobby Ryan||4||David Pastrňák||3|
|Shots||Bobby Ryan||12||Patrice Bergeron||9|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||28:36||Zdeno Chára||28:16|
|Zone, score and venue adjusted Corsi %||50.96%||8th||49.04%||9th|
|Score, Zone and venue adjusted Fenwick %||52.39%||6th||47.61%||11th|