London Knights (39-11-2-2) at Erie Otters (16-31-3-5)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Upcoming schedule: Saturday vs. Kitchener, 7 p.m.; Monday at London, 2 p.m.
What to expect: The Otters have lost nine of their last 10 games to fall 18 points behind eighth-place Saginaw in the chase for the final playoff spot in the OHL’s Western Conference with 13 games left in the regular season. … Any combination of Otters losses and Spirit wins totaling nine points officially will eliminate the Otters from playoff contention. … The Otters have lost five straight home games by a combined 27-9 score. They have the league’s third-worst home record (9-12-1-5). … Ottawa (15-36-0-4), which lost 10-1 at home to Eastern Conference-leading Barrie Wednesday night, remains ahead of the Otters in the race for the No. 1 pick in the upcoming OHL Priority Selection. Peterborough entered Thursday night’s game against Brampton with an 18-29-3-4 record. … F Connor Crisp completes a five-game suspension for a game misconduct incurred Feb. 2 against Sudbury. He was ejected for being the aggressor in a fight with D Charlie Dodero. Crisp is eligible to play Saturday against Kitchener. … C Connor McDavid (23 goals, 30 assists, 53 points) holds a three-point lead over Sarnia RW Nikolay Goldobin (24-26-50) in the league’s rookie scoring race after Goldobin was held scoreless in an 8-0 loss to Sault Ste. Marie Wednesday. The Sting play in Windsor Thursday night. Brampton LW Blake Clarke (18-25-43) trails McDavid by 10 points. … McDavid leads all rookies with 30 assists and trails Goldobin by one goal. … The Otters face the league-leading Knights three times in the final month of the regular season, including Monday in London and March 13 in Erie. The Otters have lost two of the first three meetings, including a 4-3 shootout loss at home Oct. 16. … London leads Barrie by nine points in the race for the league’s regular-season championship and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. … The Knights have lost three straight games for the second time in the past month. … They have lost eight of 15 games since posting a 24-game winning streak, which fell one shy of tying the CHL record. … They lead the league with 221 goals scored and fourth with 143 goals against. … RW Seth Griffith ranks among the league’s top five with 33 goals, 49 assists and 82 points. … C Max Domi (33-38-68) also stands among the leaders in all three categories. … G Jake Patterson has a 17-6-1-1 record, 2.46 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and four shutouts in 27 games. … Kitchener (32-15-1-6) stands third in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Owen Sound and four ahead of Guelph. … The Rangers have won seven of their last 10 games. … They have won four of six meetings in the eight-game season series with the Otters. … They are third with 137 goals against.
- Victor Fernandes