Game 38 Preview: Ottawa Senators @ Detroit Red Wings

Hoping to start the new year on a good note.

Two of the bottom teams in the Eastern Conference go head-to-head tonight, as the Senators (12-17-8) will try to regain their mojo against the Detroit Red Wings (15-16-7). Coming off a disheartening 5-0 loss to Boston on Saturday, the Sens will look to start the new year on a good note.

The Red Wings, meanwhile, are on a short little streak, winning their previous two games on home ice against the Rangers (3-2 shootout) and Penguins (4-1). Tonight’s winning team will take the lead in the season series, currently tied at one games apiece (Detroit’s 2-1 shootout win in October, Ottawa’s 3-1 win in November).

The Sens have made one roster change since last game, returning Nick Paul to Belleville to make room for a returning Gabriel Dumont. A couple more players may be sent down in the coming weeks, as both Mark Borowiecki and Zack Smith appear to be getting closer to full health.

Fredrik Claesson also returns from his two-game suspension, replacing Ben Harpur in the lineup.

Craig Anderson will get the start tonight, after serving backup duties to Mike Condon for the last two games. It’s been a not-so-graceful fall for Andy, going from top five in save percentage last season to now sitting in the bottom five.

Here are the expected line combos:

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

Oduya - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Claesson - Chabot

Anderson (starter)

Here are some notes for tonight:

  • An interesting decision coming from the Sens’ bench, as assistant coaches Marc Crawford and Martin Raymond have switched duties with the power play and penalty kill assignments. With neither having much success at their previous assignment (Crawford with the PK, Raymond on the PP), it’s questionable as to how much of an improvement this might be, if at all.
  • Meanwhile, trade rumours are flying left and right around the Sens. Pageau, Brassard, Hoffman, Karlsson... you name it.
  • All of this is happening just as Hoffman is approaching some milestones — 300 games (needs three more), 100 goals (needs six more) and 200 points (needs two more).
  • Bobby Ryan is also three points away from hitting 200 in a Sens uniform.
  • At 37 years old, Henrik Zetterberg is still playing at a very high level. He’s been on a roll recently with one goal and eight assists in his last seven games.
  • Noted goal-scorer Mike Hoffman hasn’t scored in thirteen games. Dzingel, Pyatt, Claesson, Oduya, Burrows, Phaneuf, Harpur and Dumont have also gone 10+ games without a goal, some for way longer. Way too many players are on goal scoring droughts for this team to be successful./

Here are some stats, from and Natural Stat Trick:

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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