The Ottawa Senators return home looking to take the lead when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight in game three of the Eastern Conference final. Both games in Pittsburgh were low scoring affairs, with each team scoring a total of two goals over the two games.
On the lineup front, Mark Borowiecki (sigh) and Viktor Stålberg are nearing returns, so it is possible there might be some changes for tonight. But for now, this is the team that played game two for Ottawa.
MacArthur - Turris - Hoffman
Stone - Pageau - Ryan
Burrows - Brassard - Dzingel
Smith - Pyatt - Wingels
Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Claesson - Wideman
Some notes for tonight:
- Ottawa has a difficult decision to make. On the one hand, the Penguins forwards are a lot better than Ottawa's so it doesn't make sense to get in a high event game with them. On the other hand, the Penguins defence is really hurting badly and they are there to be attacked.
- The Senators really were very poor in game two. They basically created nothing offensively for the last 40 minutes. Still, they were a lucky bounce at the end from taking a 2-0 lead.
- The one bright spot was that the Sens managed to cut down on the penalties taken. That was even more impressive given how much they had to defend.
- Every single line except MacArthur/Turris/Hoffman got caved in on shots on Monday. Hopefully the Senators can get some better matchups at home.
- Even Erik Karlsson struggled to make an impact in game two. When he isn't getting anything going, it is always going to be a struggle isn't it?
- At some point, someone has to question why Alex Burrows gets regular power play time yes?
- Ottawa is 4-2 at home in the playoffs, including going 3-0 against the Rangers.
- The Senators have never won a playoff series that they trailed after game three.
- Ottawa has been outscored 2-1 when on the power play since the start of round two. They have still managed to win five out of those eight games.
- Happy National Day of Norway to all of our Norwegian readers. I am sure we have many!
- As I will be going to game four on Friday and then on holiday, this will be my last preview of the season. Thanks to everyone that tolerated my rants! :-)
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from Corsica.
|Goals||Jean-Gabriel Pageau||8||Jake Guentzel||9|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||11||Evgeni Malkin||14|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||13||Evgeni Malkin||20|
|Shots||Mike Hoffman||39||Phil Kessel||42|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||28:55||Brian Dumoulin||21:19|
|Zone, score and venue adjusted Corsi %||51.91%||6th||43.79%||16th|
|Score, Zone and venue adjusted Fenwick %||51.44%||6th||44.26%||16th|