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Game 78 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Detroit Red Wings

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Detroit Red Wings on 3 April 2017.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

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

Anderson (starter)
Condon

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.

Category Ottawa Detroit
Player # Player #
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

Category

Ottawa Detroit
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.52 22nd 2.41 21st
Goals Against 2.60 12th 3.00 26th
Zone, score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.72% 26th 47.81% 25th
Score, Zone and venue adjusted Fenwick % 48.10% 24th 47.86% 26th
Shots For 29.9 20th 28.4 25th
Shots Against 30.4 16th 30.6 19th