The Ottawa Senators don’t seem to have trouble beating anyone
recently, and that could give them good momentum as they prepare to
face a team they haven’t defeated at home in more than eight
Looking to extend their franchise-record winning streak to 11
games, the Senators also will try to snap a four-game slide against
the Vancouver Canucks, who continue their daunting six-week road
trip Thursday night.
Ottawa (32-21-4) extended its run with a 4-2 win over Buffalo on
Wednesday, pulling within three points of the Northeast
Division-leading Sabres. Daniel Alfredsson broke a 2-2 tie with 60
seconds to play before adding an empty-netter.
“It is impressive,” said Alfredsson, the Senators captain and
longest-tenured player. “I don’t think we expected this from
Jason Spezza had two goals and an assist for the Senators, who
haven’t lost since a 6-1 defeat at Atlanta on Jan. 12 and have
outscored their opponents 34-12 during the winning streak.
Alfredsson has seven goals in nine games since returning Jan. 16
following an 11-game absence due to a separated shoulder. Spezza
was sidelined 20 games with a knee injury before coming back Jan.
23, and has goals in seven straight contests dating back to Dec.
The victory against the Sabres is just one of several impressive
wins Ottawa has put together during this streak. It’s also beaten
division leaders New Jersey and Chicago and defending Stanley Cup
Now, the Senators will face the best from the Northwest.
Vancouver (34-19-2) took both meetings last season and has won six
of the last seven.
Despite a season-high 47 shots on goal Tuesday, the Canucks fell
3-2 to Montreal, snapping their seven-game winning streak. Mikael
Samuelsson and Ryan Kesler scored power-play goals for
“Hockey is a great game and I thought that was a hard-fought
game by both teams tonight,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault
The game was the second in an NHL-record 14-game road trip while
GM Place gets ready to host the Olympics. The Canucks opened the
swing Saturday by rallying from an early three-goal deficit to beat
Starting with this contest, the Canucks will play six games in
10 days before the break. Henrik Sedin, who leads the league with
78 points, is looking forward to the challenge.
“This is when the fun starts, we play every second day, and we
have a back-to-back at the end of the road trip so it should be
good now,” he told the Canucks’ official Web site.
Sedin and Alex Burrows were held without a point against the
Canadiens. Along with Henrik’s twin Daniel, the Canucks’ top line
has accounted for 14 goals and 26 assists over the last eight
Henrik Sedin had two goals and two assists in two wins against
the Senators last season. Daniel had a goal and three assists.
Vancouver hasn’t lost to Ottawa since falling 2-1 on March 13,
2004. The Canucks’ last road loss to the Senators was a 3-0 defeat
on Nov. 20, 2001.