Game 30: Vancouver Canucks @ Ottawa Senators

Guess who is back? Peter Regin! Since his injury, the Senators have had to use a lot of patchwork solutions for second line centre, including Mika Zibanejad, Stéphane Da Costa and now Nick Foligno. Regin had a good start to the season with three points in five games and hadn't been on the ice for a single goal against. Foligno will continue to take face-offs tonight though. Oh and Matt Carkner is also back. So Sergei Gonchar out, Matt Carkner in. Oh my.

Here are the full lines courtesy of TSN, Nikita Filatov briefly practised on a line with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek this morning, but he won't play again tonight.

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

Jared Cowen - Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips - Brian Lee
Matt Carkner - David Rundblad

Craig Anderson (starter)
Alex Auld

Carkner had this great line on Magic Number Seven, his defensive partner, from Erin Nicks:

"Two skilled guys together, should be awesome. He'll probably hang back while I join the rush." - Matt Carkner on playing with David Rundblad

Talking points for tonight:

  • Peter Regin on second line: This is a pleasant surprise and I will be interested in seeing how Regin fits in. He won't be taking face-offs, but Paul MacLean mentioned that the centre position can be interchangeable between Regin and Nick Foligno.
  • Carkner also returns: Matt Carkner is the less glamorous return to the lineup, and his return is necessitated by the injury to Sergei Gonchar. Funny how a couple weeks ago I was thinking of too many defencemen, and suddenly we have both Brian Lee and Matt Carkner in the same game.
  • Stopping the Canucks stars: The Senators played the Canucks pretty well in Vancouver but ended up losing 2-1 in overtime. That time they had both Filip Kuba and Sergei Gonchar though. The Canucks are playing a lot better these days and while the Senators a blew 3-0 lead, the Canucks came back from 3-0 down against the Canadiens.
  • Inexperienced defence: Just to highlight how inexperienced the defence is tonight, Erik Karlsson has the second most NHL games, behind only Chris Phillips. Phillips has 974 games, Karlsson has 164, Brian Lee has 148, Matt Carkner has 133, Jared Cowen has 29 and David Rundblad has 20. On paper, the Canucks should rip Ottawa to shreds.
  • Stay out of the box: While Ottawa's penalty kill has been very good lately, Vancouver has the #1 power play in the league at 25.8%. Staying out of penalty trouble will prove key, especially with so many defencemen out.
Here are the 2011-2012 comparative statistics for the Senators and the Canucks:

Category Ottawa Enemy - Vancouver
Value Rank Value Rank
Goals For per game 3.00 7th 3.29 2nd
Goals Against per game 3.41 29th 2.46 11th
5 on 5 GF/GA ratio 0.89 21st 1.08 11th
Shots for per game 30.3 13th 32.5 6th
Shots against per game 31.8 26th 28.9 8th
Power play % 18.8 11th 25.8 1st
Penalty kill % 81.2 21st 86.5 5th
Category Ottawa Enemy - Vancouver
Player Value Player Value
Points Jason Spezza 27 Daniel Sedin 33
Goals Milan Michalek 18 Daniel Sedin 12
Assists Erik Karlsson 23 Henrik Sedin 23
PP Points Erik Karlsson 11 Daniel Sedin 15
Shots Erik Karlsson 89 Daniel Sedin 91
Hits Nick Foligno 82 Maxim Lapierre 82
Avg. Ice time Erik Karlsson 25:26 Dan Hamhuis 23:03
Face-offs % Zenon Konopka 59.8 Manny Malhotra 57.6

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