Game 51 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins

A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Pittsburgh Penguins on 2 February 2016.

After getting a single point out of the game against the Buffalo Sabres, Erik Karlsson returns to the Ottawa Senators after playing in Sunday's All-Star game. The Senators are just about still in the playoff race, sitting 12th in the east with the Penguins three points ahead in the final playoff spot. The Penguins also hold two games in hand.

Marc Methot will return to the lineup but Kyle Turris is still out injured. Craig Anderson will start in net. Here are the lines and pairings lines from Gord Wilson.

Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Smith - Pageau - Stone
Dziurzynski - Lazar - Chiasson
Prince - McCormick - Neil

Wiercioch - Karlsson
Methot - Wideman
Borowiecki - Ceci

Anderson (starter)

Some notes for tonight:

  • Maybe the Senators will go on a bit of a run and make the playoffs before losing in the first round. But even if that happens, there are not a lot of things going for this team aside from Erik Karlsson. At least for me. Sad to see during his best years.
  • Karlsson's 52 points rank him fourth in the NHL, and just one point behind Tyler Seguin for third.
  • Mike Hoffman is ninth in NHL with 22 goals and seventh with 16 even strength goals.
  • Bobby Ryan has a goal in three straight games and a point in six straight games.
  • The Senators have got 56.6% of the shot attempts in 125 minutes of Patrick Wiercioch and Erik Karlsson together.
  • The final playoff spot in the east is currently on pace to be 94 points. Ottawa needs 43 points in 32 games or the equivalent of 20-9-3 to pass that.
  • Ottawa does have a fairly easy schedule in February with games largely against non-playoff teams or bubble teams.
  • That is an ugly looking bottom nine among the forwards isn't it?
  • Thanks to all the talk of the new arena, it has provided some relief from the current state of the team. Remember after the last game Erik Karlsson correctly pointed out the lack of skill on the team.
  • The Penguins lead the NHL in shots per game while the Senators are last in shots allowed per game./

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from except Corsi and Fenwick are from Note that Corsi is now adjusted for score as well as the venue and event type.

Category Ottawa Pittsburgh
Player # Player #
Goals Mike Hoffman 22 Evgeni Malkin 23
Assists Erik Karlsson 41 Kris Letang 27
Points Erik Karlsson 52 Evgeni Malkin 47
Shots Erik Karlsson 145 Patric Hornqvist 155
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 28:51 Kris Letang 26:16

Category Ottawa Pittsburgh
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.70 8th 2.50 19th
Goals Against 3.02 29th 2.44 10th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 46.7% 26th 50.4% 15th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 46.1% 29th 50.4% 16th
Shots For 28.4 26th 32.3 1st
Shots Against 33.1 30th 30.9 24th

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