The reeling Ottawa Senators will play the Detroit Red Wings with a maximum of three NHL quality defencemen and none of the top three variety. But much like Saturday, the game needs to be played so be played it shall! In addition to missing Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot and Cody Ceci, forward Zack Smith is also out for the remainder of the regular season.
In the worst case scenario, the Senators need six points in their remaining five games to clinch a playoff spot if the Lightning win out. Detroit is not a good team, but given the lineup Ottawa is icing tonight, it is going to take some effort to get a point. Here are the expected lines and pairings:
Ryan - Turris - Stone
Brassard -Stålberg - Hoffman
Burrows - Pageau - Pyatt
Kelly - White - Wingels
Claesson - Wideman
Jokipakka - Phaneuf
Borowiecki - Harpur
Some notes for tonight:
- Guy Boucher said that Chris Kelly stays in the lineup because he is needed for the penalty kill and to take face-offs. Kelly has won 44.5% of face-offs this season but...sure.
- This might be the worst defence Ottawa has iced since the expansion days.
- Since returning from injury on 26 February, Mike Hoffman is 12th in the league with 19 points in 18 games. Some people (me) would say that he is Ottawa's best forward.
- Hoffman is 13th in goals and ninth in points by left wingers this season.
- Hoffman is the fifth Senator to have three seasons of 25+ goals by age 27. The other four are Marian Hossa, Alexei Yashin, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza.
- On the flip side, Bobby Ryan's pointless streak has reached 11 games. He did have four shots and several chances to score on Saturday though.
- How is Ottawa going to win tonight? They will need Craig Anderson to stand on his head and need a few goals from Hoffman, Mark Stone and Kyle Turris.
- The Senators could in theory clinch a playoff spot tomorrow if they win tonight as well as tomorrow and the Lightning lose in regulation to Boston tomorrow.
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||Tomas Tatar||23|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||53||Henrik Zetterberg||50|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||68||Henrik Zetterberg||66|
|Shots||Mike Hoffman||213||Henrik Zetterberg||182|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||26:52||Mike Green||23:34|
|Zone, score and venue adjusted Corsi %||47.72%||26th||47.81%||25th|
|Score, Zone and venue adjusted Fenwick %||48.10%||24th||47.86%||26th|