The Ottawa Senators continue their march towards the playoffs with a home game against the New York Rangers tonight. The Senators have won seven straight games, which is their longest winning streak since a club record 11 straight wins between 14 January 2010 and 4 February 2010. The Rangers have been almost as hot as the Senators, going 16-3-2 to move from a wild card position to Presidents' Trophy contenders.
Ottawa will make no changes with Jared Cowen a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game. Here are the lines and pairings.
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Stone - Turris - Chiasson
Condra - Pageau - Lazar
Greening - Legwand - Smith
Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Borowiecki - Gryba
Some notes for tonight:
- Ottawa has scored at least five goals in each of the last three games, although they scored an empty net goal in each of those games.
- I have to admit, I thought Mark Stone was a good player last year but I never imagined he would be pushing for 60 points the very next season. I would have been satisfied with 15 goals and 35 points.
- Among defencemen this season, Erik Karlsson is first in points, first in 5-on-5 points, second in even strength points, third in power play points, second in goals, first in 5-on-5 goals, first in even strength goals, second in assists, first in shots on goal, third in average ice time. This is despite playing almost a quarter of his 5-on-5 ice time with Chris Phillips.
- Since Marc Methot's return, Karlsson and Methot have helped the Senators to get 60% of the 5-on-5 scoring chances with the two of them on the ice. That's over a solid 10 weeks. Karlsson also leads all NHL players in scoring since the Senators started their 17-2-2 run.
- Andrew Hammond can equal an NHL record with a point in his 16th consecutive start.
- If the Bruins finish 5-3-1 over their next 10 games, Ottawa would need to be 5-4-1 or equivalent to make sure of finishing ahead of the Bruins. The Bruins play the Anaheim Ducks tonight.
- Ottawa needs 10 points in their next 10 games to achieve their highest regular season point total since 2006-2007.
- Alex Chiasson probably could have had a hat trick against San Jose. Certainly can't say the line stopped creating chances after adding him due to an injury.
- Thank goodness Mika Zibanejad is all right eh? That would have been a devastating injury.
- Ottawa has the ninth highest goal difference in the league now.
- The Rangers are one of three possible playoff opponents for Ottawa with the other two being Tampa Bay and Montréal. The Lightning would likely be the toughest matchup with the Canadiens by far the most preferred one.
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from www.puckon.net.
|Goals||Mike Hoffman||26||Rick Nash||39|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||40||Derick Brassard||48|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||59||Rick Nash||63|
|Shots||Erik Karlsson||260||Rick Nash||273|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||27:02||Ryan McDonagh||23:06|
|Score adjusted Corsi %||50.8%||18th||50.9%||17th|
|Score adjusted Fenwick %||49.2%||20th||50.8%||16th|