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The Noon Number: Fourth-Line Follies

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A look at how tonight’s fourth line has done at both ends of the ice

Boston Bruins v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

37.5 - The five-on-five Corsi-For Percentage of tonight’s expected fourth line of Chandler Stephenson, Nic Dowd, and Devante Smith-Pelly. In just over 47 minutes together at fives this season, the trio has accounted for 33 shot attempts on their opponents’ net while allowing 55 the other way.

Looking at recent numbers is even uglier, with Dowd sporting the worst individual SAT% at evens since December 21 (minimum of eight games played), Stephenson cracking the “top”-10 and Smith-Pelly rounding out the group at 14th.

Considering their role and the context that goes along with it (high percentage of defensive-zone starts, low quality of teammates, etc.), it’s not unusual to see fourth-liners drop below that magical 50% line when it comes to shot attempts... but being this far off the mark isn’t ideal for any team looking for depth up front, and it’s certainly not helping (nor is it helped by) the team’s overall struggles over the past few weeks.