Hurricanes-Senators Preview

The Ottawa Senators survived a rare sub-par performance from

goalie Craig Anderson in their last game to continue their winning

ways at home.

The Carolina Hurricanes, though, may threaten their streak now

that it appears their starting netminder has returned to his elite

form.

The Senators will try to win their fourth straight on their home

ice on Thursday night when they host the Hurricanes, who look to

beat Ottawa for the second time this month.

After allowing nine goals in his first eight games, Anderson

gave up more than two goals for the first time this season in

Ottawa’s 4-3 win over Buffalo on Tuesday.

“Overall I think this could have been a 4-1 game but it was

unfortunate that Buffalo got some lucky bounces and they ended up

in the back of the net,” said Anderson, who leads the NHL with a

.956 save percentage and ranks near the top of the NHL in wins (6)

and goals-against average (1.33).

Chris Neil, Erik Karlsson, Chris Phillips and Daniel Alfredsson

each scored for the Senators (6-3-1), who had just one goal over

Anderson’s previous two starts.

Now the netminder gets a rematch against a Carolina team that

beat him 1-0 last Friday despite a season-high 34 saves. Anderson

is winless in his last three starts against the Hurricanes despite

a 1.67 GAA.

The Senators hope to give Anderson more support this time at

home, where they’re 4-0-1 while outscoring opponents 17-7.

With center Jason Spezza out following back surgery, the

Senators have utilized a balanced attack offensively. Nine players

have at least two goals, with Karlsson and Kyle Turris leading the

team at four goals apiece.

Turris, however, hasn’t scored in his last six games. Karlsson’s

goal Tuesday was his first in six games, and the Norris Trophy

winner has one in his past nine against the Hurricanes.

The Senators may be able to get something going on the power

play against the Hurricanes, who rank near the bottom of the

Eastern Conference in penalty kill percentage (73.7). Ottawa has

converted 4 of 11 chances over its last three home games.

While Dan Ellis stopped 33 shots en route to the shutout win in

the first meeting, Carolina goalie Cam Ward is expected to get the

start in this meeting.

Ward has allowed one goal while winning each of his last two

starts against the Senators.

After allowing 15 goals in losing three of his first four

starts, the veteran finished with 41 saves in a 4-1 win at Toronto

on Monday.

“I felt really comfortable at the start of the game,” said

Ward. “I expected they were going to throw a lot of shots at the

net, and I had to be ready.”

Patrick Dwyer, Justin Faulk, Eric Staal and Jordan Staal scored

against the Maple Leafs, giving Carolina (4-4-0) seven goals in the

first two games of a season-long six-game road trip.

Eric Staal looks to continue his recent tear after scoring in

his fourth consecutive contest. The center has seven goals in his

last six contests.

With Staal providing one of the tallies, the Hurricanes went 2

for 4 on the power play on Monday and are 5 for 15 in their last

three road games with a man advantage.

Carolina has won six of the last eight meetings, including two

of three in Ottawa.