Roughly a month ago, the Ottawa Senators were putting together
their best stretch of the season, and one of those victories came
at the expense of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Now, they’re just trying to avoid extending their slide at
The Senators attempt to re-establish their home success against
the Hurricanes and snap a three-game losing streak there
Ottawa (10-10-2) put together a season-high six-game winning
streak last month that included a 3-2 shootout victory over
Carolina (8-12-4) on Oct. 25.
The Senators are 3-5-2 since and have dropped all three home
games. Despite that slide, Ottawa is 5-4-1 at Scotiabank Place, and
will be playing there for the only time in a 10-game span.
The Senators concluded a 3-2-1 trip with a 6-3 loss at
Pittsburgh on Friday. Kaspars Daugavins scored 1:19 into the game,
but Craig Anderson gave up four goals on eight shots in the ensuing
“I think the game was lost in the first five minutes by not
being prepared to play,” coach Paul MacLean said. “That’s my
responsibility to make sure the team is ready to play.”
Jason Spezza, the team leader with 20 points, hopes to end an
11-game goal drought, his longest since going 13 games without
scoring from March 18-April 11, 2006.
He has three assists in three games, but was held pointless
against the Penguins. Spezza scored in regulation and beat Cam Ward
for the only shootout goal in the last meeting with Carolina.
Spezza has an eight-game home point streak against the
Hurricanes, totaling four goals and nine assists while leading the
Senators to wins in seven of those matchups.
A shoulder injury sidelined him for the latest home meeting with
Carolina on Dec. 29, 2010. Ward led the Hurricanes to a 4-0 victory
in that game with 37 saves.
Ward figures to get a fifth consecutive start overall with wins
in three of his last four against Ottawa. He has a 1.47
goals-against average during those games.
He’s 2-1-1 with a 2.22 GAA in the past four contests, but his 27
saves weren’t enough in Friday’s 3-1 loss to Winnipeg. That defeat
came two days after Carolina squandered a two-goal lead in a 4-3
shootout loss to Montreal.
“We just have to find a way to play a solid 60 minutes,”
defenseman Tim Gleason told the team’s official website.
Leading scorer Jeff Skinner is trying to avoid going three
consecutive games without a point for the first time since Feb.
19-25. He leads the Hurricanes with nine goals and 21 points, with
one tally coming against the Senators last month. However, he
hasn’t scored in two visits to Ottawa and has just one goal in the
last five road games.
Some production from Eric Staal would be a welcome change. The
Carolina captain has one goal in 18 games after scoring three times
in the previous five. He’s a league-worst minus-17 this season.