After clinching home ice in the first round yesterday, the attention now turns to who will be Ottawa’s opponent. Should the Toronto Maple Leafs get at least a point today, the Battle of Ontario will be the matchup. It will be the Boston Bruins otherwise.
Yesterday was also a crucial day for the Islanders, who although defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-2, were eliminated from playoff contention due to the Leafs’ dramatic win in Pittsburgh.
Here’s the Sens’ expected lineup, from Bruce Garrioch:
Here are some notes ahead of tonight’s contest:
- Although the position is already decided, a win tonight would give the Senators 100 points, the first time hitting triple digits since 2006-07. They came ever so close two years ago finishing with 99 points.
- Because the game won’t have any standings impact, it appears that Boucher’s decided to go with an exhibition lineup for tonight. Many key players will be sitting, while Colin White will play in his second NHL game, and Chris Neil will play in his first game since February 26th.
- Andreas Englund and Nick Paul were also called up along with O’Connor this morning.
- One area of potential concern is the goalie, as Craig Anderson didn’t travel with the team to Brooklyn. Hopefully everything’s fine and he’ll be ready for the playoffs.
- Five Senators who haven’t missed a game so far: Chris Kelly, Derick Brassard, Dion Phaneuf, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Tom Pyatt. Of the five, Pageau was the only one to hit 82 games last season.
- Barring a Turris hat trick or a crazy night from someone else, this will be Ottawa’s fifth consecutive season without a 30-goal scorer, going back to Milan Michalek (35) and Jason Spezza (34) in 2011-12. The only other teams in the same boat are Arizona, Buffalo and Detroit.
- Coming into the playoffs hot is Mike Hoffman, who’s scored at least a point in five of his last six games. He has seven goals and fifteen assists in his last 22 games.
- It will also be the two teams’ third meeting of the season, with Ottawa taking the first game 6-2 (Zack Smith with two goals), as well as the second one 3-0 (Anderson shutout).
- Some players who play well against the Islanders: Kyle Turris (13 points in 16 GP), Mark Stone (8 points in 10 GP) and Craig Anderson (.956 SV% in 10 starts).
- This will be the seventh year in a row the Sens close out the regular season away from home.
- Afterwards: it’s playoffs time!/
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from Corsica.
|Goals||Kyle Turris||27||Anders Lee||33|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||54||Josh Bailey||42|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||71||John Tavares||66|
|Shots||Mike Hoffman||224||John Tavares||260|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||26:50||Nick Leddy||22:45|
|Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||48.32%||22nd||48.18%||23rd|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||48.47%||23rd||48.39%||24th|
|Shots Against||30.2||16th||31.9||26th |
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