Game 37 preview: Florida Panthers @ Ottawa Senators

A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers on 19 December 2013.

The Senators are back at it again, after failing yet again to win consecutive games. The bright side for tonight's game against the Panthers is that lately they haven't lost two in a row too often either, going 6-1-1 in the last eight games following a loss.

There will be three changes with Marc Methot, Craig Anderson and Matt Kassian coming in for Patrick Wiercioch, Robin Lehner and Cory Conacher. The club had an optional skate but Bruce Garrioch believes the lines to start the game will include 16-19-15 and 28-44-25. So here are my guesses for the rest:

Michalek - Turris - Ryan
MacArthur - Spezza - Smith
Greening - Zibanejad - Condra
Kassian - Pageau - Neil

Cowen - Karlsson
Methot - Corvo
Phillips - Ceci

Anderson (starter)

  • Yeah Smith with Spezza and MacArthur sounds crazy. I got nothing.
  • It will be interesting to see where Methot slots in tonight. Given Paul MacLean saying that Methot needs to play better, will he return on the top pairing with Karlsson? Keeping Cowen with Karlsson would mean the minimum amount of disruptions, but MacLean has never been afraid to change things.
  • If things go well for Ottawa (win and Leafs lose), they could be within a point of a playoff spot. Lose and they could be just a point up on the 14th place Panthers with the Panthers holding a game in hand.
  • That stat last night about Ottawa being outscored 33-13 in the first five minutes of periods is just brutal. I was honestly shocked to see it was that bad. A better start would go a long way tonight.
  • Bobby Ryan played six seconds on the power play last night. The team scored two goals without him, but I am curious to see the usage tonight. Ryan has played under 15 minutes in three of the last four games.
  • Robin Lehner allowed five goals last night, so Craig Anderson has the chance to earn another start on Saturday with a good performance tonight.
  • Mika Zibanejad led all forwards with 16:49 of ice time last night.
  • Erik Karlsson had eight attempted shots last night. Six of them were blocked and two missed the net. Aside from Karlsson's six, no other Senators shots were blocked. He did pick up two assists to retake the team scoring lead.
  • The Panthers can't score. Neither could the Devils though and they popped in five.

Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.

Category Ottawa Florida
Player # Player #
Goals Bobby Ryan 16 Brad Boyes 9
Assists Erik Karlsson 24 Tomas Fleischmann 13
Points Erik Karlsson 33 Scottiee Upshall 18
Shots Erik Karlsson 109 Tomas Fleischmann 89
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 27:39 Brian Campbell 27:22

Category Ottawa Florida
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.78 10th 2.20 28th
Goals Against 3.14 28th 3.03 25th
Corsi Close % 50.5% 14th 50.7% 13th
Fenwick Close % 49.1% 19th 50.7% 14th
Shots For 33.1 3rd 29.2 19th
Shots Against 34.0 28th 29.1 12th

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