Game 27: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Ottawa Senators

Clear out the cobwebs at Scotiabank Place, the Senators are back! Tonight, they welcome their future divisional rivals (sigh), the Tampa Bay Lightning. Between Saturday's game against Washington, tonight's game and Wednesday's game against Washington again, Ottawa will get plenty of practise playing against the trap.

The Senators will make no changes, with Nikita Filatov scratched and Filip Kuba injured. Ici sont les lignes:

Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Bobby Butler
Milan Michalek - Nick Foligno - Daniel Alfredsson
Kaspars Daugavins - Zack Smith - Erik Condra
Zenon Konopka - Jesse Winchester - Chris Neil

Jared Cowen - Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips - Sergei Gonchar
Brian Lee - David Rundblad

Craig Anderson (starter)
Alex Auld

Talking points and statistics after the jump.

Here are my talking points for tonight:

  • Possible future #1 pairing: With Filip Kuba out and Chris Phillips struggling, we should expect to see Cowen and Karlsson for well over 20 minutes of even strength time. Then depending on whether we have more power play time or penalty kill time, one of them should approach 30 minutes. Karlsson may end up with Rundblad at some point in the future, but Karlsson/Cowen certainly worked well on Saturday.
  • Phillips struggling: Chris Phillips had a decent start to the season, but since the Filip Kuba injury, Phillips has been pretty bad in the last two games. Hopefully he can put together a solid game tonight.
  • Match-up of NHL's leading goal scorers: You probably expected to be Steven Stamkos to be leading the NHL in goals, but for Milan Michalek to be tied with him?
  • Match-up of NHL's leading offensive defencemen: Erik Karlsson leads all defencemen with 23 points. The Lightning's Marc-Andre Bergeron is tied for second with 20.
Here are the 2011-2012 comparative statistics for the Senators and the Lightning:

Category Ottawa Enemy - Tampa Bay
Value Rank Value Rank
Goals For per game 2.92 10th 2.64 16th
Goals Against per game 3.38 30th 3.12 22nd
5 on 5 GF/GA ratio 0.83 24th 0.89 23rd
Shots for per game 30.2 14th 28.8 20th
Shots against per game 31.3 21st 30.6 18th
Power play % 19.8 7th 15.9 19th
Penalty kill % 80.2 24th 83.5 13th
Category Ottawa Enemy - Tampa Bay
Player Value Player Value
Points Jason Spezza 24 Steven Stamkos 27
Goals Milan Michalek 16 Steven Stamkos 16
Assists Erik Karlsson 21 Marc-Andre Bergeron 17
PP Points Erik Karlsson 8 Steven Stamkos 8
Shots Erik Karlsson 86 Steven Stamkos 89
Hits Nick Foligno 77 Eric Brewer 52
Avg. Ice time Erik Karlsson 25:18 Eric Brewer 22:56
Face-offs % Zenon Konopka 58.8 Adam Hall 62.7

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