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Game 72 Preview: Florida Panthers @ Ottawa Senators

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Can the Sens not mess up the tank this time?

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers
“Hey Huberdeau, I bet you couldn’t fit inside a net!”
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Just over a week ago, the Senators simultaneously messed up their tank and hurt the Panthers’ playoff chances with an unexpected win in Florida. Tonight, they look to try to make things right by not playing Erik Karlsson or Ryan Dzingel.

UPDATE: The Sens released this update on Karlsson just after publish

Naturally, all our best wishes are with Erik and Melinda during their grief.

According to B. Wallsy (aka TSN’s Brent Wallace) Anderson gets the start, and Filip Chlapik, Jim O’Brien, and Patrick Sieloff will all draw into the lineup. Here are the practice lines:

Smith - Duchene - Hoffman
Ryan - Chlapik - Gaborik
Paajarvi - Pageau - Pyatt
McCormick - O'Brien - Burrows

Harpur - Ceci
Borowiecki - Chabot
Claesson - Sieloff

Anderson (starter)
Condon

Some thoughts:

  • When I was excited to see Filip Chlapik in the top six, I figured he’d be on the Duchene/Hoffman line, not centring Bobby Ryan and Marian Gaborik. Maybe we won’t see his first NHL goal after all. Of course, juggle-happy Guy Boucher will likely move Chlapik around the lineup so he’ll probably get a shot on that top line after all
  • How gross is a top pairing of Ben Harpur and Cody Ceci? Regardless of your opinions on the two, I don’t think anybody sees them as a 25-minute top pairing duo. This could be the future of the team though if we see an Erik Karlsson trade at the draft. Who’s the projected top pick in 2019?
  • Interesting to see Patrick Sieloff get the callup. There was a bit of a debate on Twitter this morning, started by our own Spencer Blake, about whether Sieloff is Belleville’s 5th- or 6th- best defenceman. Either way, that’s probably not your best guy for a callup. I’m wondering how many clips we’ll see of him re-injuring Clarke MacArthur in the lead-up to the game.
  • I thought this organization loved Gabriel Gagne — a tall man who can score. However, seeing them do things like make Erik Burgdoerfer the seventh defenceman, or signing Jim O’Brien to a two-way contract, rather than give Gagne a call up makes me wonder.
  • Ottawa has managed to dismantle some playoff-hungry teams in recent weeks, beating the Panthers, Lightning, and Stars, and ending within a goal of the Flames and Blue Jackets. Let’s see if that continues tonight.
  • Craig Anderson has a .902 on the season, but he hasn’t been below .900 in five games, and even that game was a win against the Golden Knights.
  • The Panthers are first in shots per game (34.5) and 29th in shots against (34.6). That’s the definition of high-event hockey.

Here are some stats (via NHL.com and NaturalStatTrick.com):

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