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Game 74 Preview: Carolina Hurricanes @ Ottawa Senators

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Erik Karlsson is back in the lineup.

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators (26-36-11) finish off their three game homestand tonight, taking on the Carolina Hurricanes (32-31-11). While the Sens have lost their last three games and are unable to make the playoffs even if they run the table, Carolina sits two standings positions outside the second wild card spot, although with a nine-point gap to overcome.

Roster Update

After missing the last two games to deal with a personal situation, Erik Karlsson has decided that he’s ready to return! It’s reportedly been an emotional day around the rink, so for anyone at today’s game, make sure to show Karlsson he has our full support.

Guy Boucher informed the media that he’ll roll with seven defencemen, giving Christian Wolanin his second career NHL game. The forward coming out will be Marian Gaborik, who appears to have a small day-to-day injury. Mike Condon starts in goal.

Projected Lineup

Here’s the projected lineup, based on yesterday’s practice lines and accounting for the minor changes:

Hoffman - Duchene - Burrows
Dzingel - Pageau - Ryan
Paajarvi - Smith - Pyatt
McCormick - Chlapik

Chabot - Karlsson
Harpur - Ceci
Borowiecki - Claesson
Wolanin

Condon (starter)
Anderson

Game Notes

  • Gaborik won’t be playing tonight, but he quietly has five points in his last five games.
  • It will be interesting to see how much ice time Christian Wolanin will receive in his second game. Boucher wasn’t afraid to give him minutes on Thursday, playing a total 17:09.
  • The month of March has so far been the most productive period for Erik Karlsson, with twelve points in nine games.
  • Tonight will be Tom Pyatt’s 400th NHL game of his career. Considering he left after a few seasons to play in Switzerland, it’s an impressive feat for him to reach.
  • Another milestone watch: a hat trick for Matt Duchene would bring him to 200 career goals. He’s been on a roll recently, with five goals and ten points in his last nine games.
  • Looking at the Sens’ remaining schedule, the matchups don’t appear to be in favour of The Tank. For their nine remaining games including tonight, they’ll play Carolina twice, then the Islanders, Panthers, Red Wings and Sabres. Of those teams only Florida is at least fighting for a playoff spot. They then play Winnipeg, Pittsburgh and Boston in the final week, although there’s a decent chance they’ll be resting their best players in preparation for the post-season.
  • One more note on tanking, the NHL and NHLPA have settled on new lottery odds to account for 31 teams in the league, with the last place finisher reportedly having an 18.5% chance of winning the top pick (up from 18.0% last year).

Here are some stats from NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick.

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

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