Both the Kings and the Sens are sporting a decent 6-3-1 record in their last 10 games. The Sens are -1 in goal-differential while the Quick-less Kings are a very similar -2. The Sens powerplay has ramped up in the last 10 or so games and sits 18th in the league. Feels like not so long ago it was 29th. How good has it been? Well, over their last 10 games they have gone 9 for 33, which is a very good 27.27% (NHL leading Columbus Bluejackets click at just 24.6%). Over their last 5 they are 7/22, or 31.8%. And that stretch includes the 0 for 7 against the Panthers (which they still won 2-0). Perhaps not-surprisingly, over that stretch Karlsson has caught and passed Weber and Burns in the defenseman scoring race. With 7 points in his last 2 games EK is back on the PPG pace he set last season, while increasing his SH TOI by a full minute, and also leading the league in blocked shots. So much for "Karlsson doesn't play defense". And while his +5 is far down the list (tied for 41st among D-men) you have to consider this in the context of his team's goal differential (in case anyone cares, Doughty is +3). In addition to the Karlsson vs. Doughty angle, this game will also feature Stone vs. Kopitar (last season's Selke winner). Last year Stone, again, led the league in takeaways, but his -4 on the year definitely ruled him out of the Selke discussion (Kopitar was +34 and also had 74 points to Stone's 61). Neither Kopitar nor Bergeron (who won the previous two years) are having great years, offensively, so it's wide-open for Stone to be in the conversation. He will need to improve his +1 -- not an easy task, given the Sens' goal differential.
Here's a nice write-up on Chris Neil:
1,000 games, nearly 2,500 minutes and zero suspensions.