Game 32 Preview: Minnesota Wild @ Ottawa Senators

The Sens look to build some momentum heading into Christmas

The Senators have three more games, including tonight’s, ahead of Christmas, and after a month of misery, they look to build a three-game win streak. The Wild have lost two in a row and are in the middle of a four-game road trip.

Tonight’s game will see Nick Paul come in for the injured (and also invisible) Gabriel Dumont. Ben Harpur was called up but should be scratched unless there’s a last-minute injury. Craig Anderson gets his second start in as many games. Here are the practice lines and pairings:

Ryan - Duchene - Stone
Smith - Pageau - Pyatt
Hoffman - Brassard - Dzingel
Dumont - Thompson - Burrows

Oduya - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Claesson - Chabot

Anderson (starter)

Some thoughts:

  • Since Erik Karlsson played 28:03 at even strength last game, he got to play with many D partners. He was with Johnny Oduya for 15:33, Fredrik Claesson for 5:19, Dion Phaneuf for 4:07, Thomas Chabot for 2:34, and even Cody Ceci for 0:42 (all times at even strength) — all stats via
  • Interestingly, Karlsson played 8-9 minutes with the Smith-Pageau-Pyatt line. Maybe Boucher has realized Karlsson is his team’s best shutdown defenceman by far (and the Sens really shut down the Canadiens)
  • Jean-Gabriel Pageau had the most even-strength ice time of any forward last game at 15:07. Likely having three powerplays and just one penalty kill affects this. Mark Stone played a total of 20:06, and Matt Duchene played 18:27 when you switch to all situations
  • Will Gabriel Dumont draw back in when he’s healthy? I know nothing about the guy, but for some reason he’s become an untouchable, invisible fourth-liner. I hear all your arguments about Dumont playing junior for Boucher, and I point out Chris DiDomenico was also a Boucher signing and we all know what happened to him
  • It was cool to see Stone out at the end of last game protecting the lead. He’s Ottawa’s best puck-handling forward, and his hand-eye was directly responsible for the empty net sealing goal.
  • I’m cautiously hopeful for a win. That hasn’t happened in three or four weeks now./

Stats for tonight’s game (thanks to and

Team Stats

Goals against/GP3.4430th2.563rd
Shots against/GP33.025th29.32nd
Powerplay %16.726th23.54th
Penalty Kill %76.227th83.34th
Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted)46.3229th53.972nd
Fenwick (5v5, SVA)46.9427th54.011st

Player Stats

GoalsMatt Duchene27Brad Marchand34
AssistsErik Karlsson (out)53Brad Marchand51
PointsKarlsson/Stone (both out)62Brad Marchand85
ShotsMike Hoffman253David Pastrnak236
TOI/GPErik Karlsson (out)26:44Zdeno Chara22:53

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