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Gameday Five: Senators vs. Canadiens - Round 1, Game 3

by Craig Medaglia / Ottawa Senators

We take a look at 5 of the most interesting stat-based storylines from the series so far as the Senators get set to host the Canadiens for Game 3 tonight down 2-0.

1. Hits

This has been a very physical series through 2 games but if you were to judge which team has been finishing their checks more often by the oohing and aahing from the Bell Centre crowd...you'd be wrong. In Game 2, the Sens outhit the Canadiens 53-41 and so far in this series Ottawa leads the hits category 97-83.

Rookie Curtis Lazar registered 8 hits on Friday night and he currently leads all players in this series with 13.

Here's a look at each team's top hitters...

Ottawa Senators

  1. Curtis Lazar - 13
  2. Clarke MacArthur - 10
  3. Mark Borowiecki - 9

Montreal Canadiens

  1. Alexei Emelin - 9
  2. Jeff Petry - 9
  3. Devante Smith-Pelly - 9

2. Patrick Wiercioch

With the way the offensive has been firing for the Sens over the past 2 months, it's a bit surprising that Patrick Wiercioch is currently leading the team in scoring so far in this series. That's not to say that Wiercioch isn't skilled in the offensive zone, in fact, he's seen his usage on the powerplay TOI/game increase to 4:09 in the playoffs, up from the 2:23 during the regular season. All 3 of his team-leading points have come on the man advantage.

It also doesn't hurt when you're scoring goals like this...

3. SATF/60

I've been getting more and more in to advanced stats since they were released on NHL.com and the majority of my time has been trying to figure out which ones to buy stock in. SAT (Shot attempts) makes sense to me but I've been using SATF/60 recently to try and track offensive zone efficiency.

Here's a look at which players for each team have had the most positive impact on their team's shot totals...

Ottawa Senators

  1. Curtis Lazar - 68.22
  2. Marc Methot - 57.87
  3. Mark Borowiecki - 53.31

Montreal

  1. Brian Flynn - 66.13
  2. Brendan Gallagher - 62.72
  3. Alex Galchenyuk - 59.67

4. That Second Period (Again)

The Sens struggled to contain the Habs' offence during the second period of Game 1 and while not to the same degree, it happened again on Friday as well. Ottawa was outshot 14-3 in the frame and surrendered both of Montreal's regulation goals in the process. To date, 6 of the Canadiens' 7 goals in the series have occurred between minutes 20 and 40.

Montreal was also able to stay out of the box for those 20 minutes on Friday while Clarke MacArthur and Marc Methot each sat for infractions. Max Pacioretty opened the scoring for Montreal and tied the game 1-1 on the powerplay.

5. Shifts and Usage

We talked a little bit about TOI prior to Friday's game so I thought we could take a look back and review some other parameters in the same realm.

Two players on Friday took a game-high 30 shifts and they were Marc Methot for the Sens and Tomas Plekanec for the Habs. In regards to shift length, Sens captain Erik Karlsson lead the game with an average of 1:03 followed closely by P.K. Subban at 1:00.

On the flip side of that, it was interesting to track the usage of Mark Borowiecki in Game 2 as he spent a game-high 8:15 seconds on the penalty kill and lead the contest in blocked shots as a result with 7.

Game 3 is set for tonight with the puck dropping at 7 p.m. in Ottawa and for more info on tonight's game, check out the Game Preview here.

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