The Senators didn't make changes and Jared Cowen and David Rundblad continue to play together in an all-rookie pairing. They did however move Sergei Gonchar to the second power play unit and replace him with Rundblad. Here are the lines from the Ottawa Sun:
Talking points and statistics after the jump.
Here are my talking points for tonight:
- Rookie pairing: The Senators will go with Cowen/Rundblad again. I like this pairing actually despite it being two rookies. Cowen plays very conservatively and should help out when Rundblad skates in deep. On the other hand, Cowen tends to get stuck in his own zone and Rundblad can help move the puck out on offence. It also has the added benefit of Rundblad playing against the opposition's third lines.
- New look power play: Moving Gonchar to the second unit will let the Senators roll out a second unit of Michalek-Foligno-Alfredsson, Kuba-Gonchar and allows for a more potent thread on the second unit. It will be interesting to see if there is sustained pressure on the second half of power plays.
- Karlsson still flying: Erik Karlsson is all by himself in leading the NHL in assists and all defencemen in points. He also has had at least one shot on goal for 22 straight games. Hopefully Karlsson can finally get his second goal though.
- Zack Smith's improvement: Smith is now tied for third in points among forwards on the team. He is also on the club's top penalty kill unit. I have been very pleased with his performance this season. Hopefully he has another strong game tonight, especially if the club gets into penalty trouble again.
- Limit penalties: Speaking of penalties, Ottawa hopefully doesn't give the opposition another eight penalties. These two teams are the two worst in power play time minus penalty kill time.