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Gonchar's arrival boosts Senators' blue line

Wednesday, 09.29.2010 / 3:00 AM / 2010-2011 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Gonchar's arrival boosts Senators' blue line
The addition of defenseman Sergei Gonchar figures to increase Ottawa's output on the power play as well as its production from the blue line.
The addition of defenseman Sergei Gonchar figures to increase Ottawa's output on the power play as well as its production from the blue line.

Advantage Margin: -28
Ottawa had to kill off 23 more power plays than it received on the road -- a lot, but visiting teams usually allow more power plays than they receive. What was unusual was that the Senators also received fewer power plays (148) than the opposition (153) at home.

Special Teams Goal Margin: +1
One reason the Senators were eager to sign Sergei Gonchar was his ability to run the power play -- the Senators were 22nd in the League with the extra man. The penalty-killers (84.3 percent, tied for seventh) did a solid job at home and on the road.        

Goals by defensemen: 33
Gonchar's arrival should give this number a boost. Chris Phillips, not known for his offense, was tops among defensemen with 8 goals; no one else had more than 5.

Overtime Record
Total: 10-1-5
OT: 5-1 SO: 5-5
The Senators were much better off when the game was decided in overtime, as opposed to a shootout. That was especially true at home, where they were 4-1 in OT but only 3-3 in the breakaway tiebreaker.

Times Scored First: 41 Record: 31-6-4
The Senators scored first in exactly half their games, but were among the NHL's best (tied for fifth) in turning their early leads into victories. They scored first on the road just 18 times, but won 15 of those games.

Best 09-10 Number: 28-1-0
Ottawa's record when leading after the second period. The Senators' .956 winning percentage when ahead after 40 minutes trailed only Buffalo and Vancouver. They were a perfect 11-0-0 on the road when taking a lead into the third period.

Worst 09-10 Numbe: 94
Goals allowed by the Senators in the second period, tying Ottawa with Dallas for the second-most in the League. The Senators were outscored by 23 goals in the middle period.
   
Scheduling
The Senators start the season with five of their first seven games away from Scotiabank Place prior to a season-long four-game homestand. The longest road trips (three of them) are also just four games.
Quote of the Day

It's always a little bit weird, but it moves on. They've got a good team, and they played well tonight. I think that's just part of it.

— Peter Laviolette on facing his former team (Flyers) for the first time since his departure