After sitting out the last half of the third period against Detroit because the others were doing so well, Erik Karlsson will generously sit out for the entirety of tonight's game against the Boston Bruins. To clinch a playoff spot, the Senators need a point in their final three games. If Ottawa loses all three games in regulation, then they need to hold off two out of the Lightning, Islanders and Maple Leafs. The Lightning and Islanders would need to win all three games while the Leafs would need a single point.
The chances of Ottawa getting that point tonight without Karlsson are slim although the Bruins will be without Brad Marchand who was suspended two games for spearing. Weird how that never happens to Sidney Crosby, but that is another story.
Here are the expected lines and pairings for the NHL's Ottawa Senators:
Hoffman - Turris - Stone
Stålberg - Brassard - Burrows
Pyatt - Pageau - Wingels
MacArthur - Kelly - Dzingel
Phaneuf - Harpur
Borowiecki - Wideman
Claesson - Jokipakka
Some notes for tonight:
- Mike Hoffman continues to rack up the points. His assist on Tuesday gave him 60 points for the season. What a player he has become!
- Hopefully Karlsson's injury isn't too serious and he can stay in the lineup permanently in the playoffs. Can't see the Senators winning even two games against any opponent without him.
- Craig Anderson rebounded from a tough outing on Monday with a shutout on Tuesday. Ottawa will need something similar to have a chance tonight.
- The forwards appear to be top heavy but with no Karlsson, the Senators probably needed to load up on one line and hope it can produce.
- Ben Harpur looked surprisingly decent on Tuesday. Hopefully a sign of things to come against better teams than Detroit.
- I think everyone can agree that we don't want to play Washington. But while Boston is a tougher team on paper than Toronto, I would probably prefer to play Boston if Karlsson is injured. Ottawa isn't beating anyone without him so let's not risk a humiliation.
- Hoffman has 21 points in his last 20 games.
- Ottawa is 3-0 against Boston this year.
- Anderson's 92.5 save percentage is third in the NHL 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||Kyle Turris||27||Brad Marchand||39|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||54||Brad Marchand||46|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||71||Brad Marchand||85|
|Shots||Mike Hoffman||219||Patrice Bergeron||295|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||26:50||Zdeno Chara||23:16|
|Zone, score and venue adjusted Corsi %||47.98%||26th||54.87%||1st|
|Score, Zone and venue adjusted Fenwick %||48.35%||23rd||55.52%||1st|