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Game 40 Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Ottawa Senators

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning
“NICE TO MEET YOU, CORY” “Uh, Mark, I used to play with you...”
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Well that was fun. As much as my head says I want this team to lose and sign up for 10 years of Rasmus Dahlin and Erik Karlsson, my heart loves watching this team come from behind and beat a good team in the San Jose Sharks. We know this team has firepower, and they managed to overcome goaltending deficiency and outscore the Sharks. Then I remind myself this team needs to go something like 30-11-2 the rest of the year to make the playoffs, and I don’t know what to think.

With Nate Thompson hurt, Colin White was called up and will play in his spot. Other than that, the lineup is unchanged, meaning Craig Anderson gets back-to-back starts because he only allowed five goals last night. Here are the lineups:

Hoffman - Duchene - Ryan
Dzingel - Brassard - Stone
Pyatt - Pageau - Smith
Dumont - White - Burrows

Oduya - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Harpur - Chabot

Anderson (starter)

Some thoughts:

  • Ryan Dzingel now has 11 goals in 39 games, good enough for second place on this team. He used his speed to create a number of scoring chances last year but just couldn’t finish. Nice to see him finally start to put the puck in the net.
  • Last night was only Matt Duchene’s second multi-point game as a Senator (and first multi-goal game). We know the skill is there, but again, skill that doesn’t lead to goals isn’t very useful
  • In particular, I liked seeing Duchene and Hoffman together. The two of them can keep up with each other and complement each other well with their puck skills. Part of me wonders if I’d like to see Dzingel join them to have an ultra-fast top line, with Dzingel as the net-crasher
  • According to Sean Tierney, Craig Anderson has cost the Sens an average of 0.5 goals-per-60 at 5v5. That’s second-worst among starting goalies in the league. The thing is Mike Condon hasn’t been good at all either. Hard to imagine how this season would be going if the Sens were getting even NHL average goaltending.
  • Mark Stone is at 37 points in 39 games. That’s really good for a team that’s not doing great at all.
  • The Lightning are the best team in the league in goals-per-game, and the second-best in goals-allowed-per-game. That’s a good way to be the best team in the league.
  • As Callum pointed out last night, the win last night was largely due to playing their top-six forwards in the top six. Zack Smith or Jean-Gabriel Pageau may be passable replacements, but we’ve seen Alexandre Burrows and Nate Thompson and Tom Pyatt this season in the top six. When you saddle your scorers with anchors, you don’t score, and more often than not, you get scored on.

Stats for tonight’s teams:

Team Stats

Category Ottawa Senators Boston Bruins
Category Ottawa Senators Boston Bruins
-- Value Rank Value Rank
Goals/GP 2.68 25th 3.25 6th
Goals against/GP 3.44 30th 2.56 3rd
Shots/GP 30.7 24th 32.8 11th
Shots against/GP 33.0 25th 29.3 2nd
Powerplay % 16.7 26th 23.5 4th
Penalty Kill % 76.2 27th 83.3 4th
Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted) 46.32 29th 53.97 2nd
Fenwick (5v5, SVA) 46.94 27th 54.01 1st

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators Boston Bruins
Ottawa Senators Boston Bruins
-- Player # Player #
Goals Matt Duchene 27 Brad Marchand 34
Assists Erik Karlsson (out) 53 Brad Marchand 51
Points Karlsson/Stone (both out) 62 Brad Marchand 85
Shots Mike Hoffman 253 David Pastrnak 236
TOI/GP Erik Karlsson (out) 26:44 Zdeno Chara 22:53