Senators will be without key players against Kings

OTTAWA — Injuries have hit the Ottawa Senators. Hard.

In the wake of Thursday’s 7-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Senators learned they will be without top scoring winger Ryan Dzingel (lower body), impressive rookie winger Alex Formenton (concussion) and minutes-eating defenseman Cody Ceci (upper body) for Saturday’s afternoon game at Canadian Tire Centre against the Los Angeles Kings.

All are expected to return for an Oct. 20 meeting with the Montreal Canadiens.

“There are a lot of fallen soldiers around here, but that’s the way it goes,” winger Mikkel Boedker said Friday. “We’ve got to have a next-man-up mentality.”

While the Senators (1-2-1) have dropped two in a row, they’ll be facing a Kings team (2-1-1) that spoiled the Montreal Canadiens home opener on Thursday.

Goalie Jack Campbell, a first-round pick of the Dallas Stars in 2010 who has just 10 games of NHL experience, made 40 saves in the Kings’ 3-0 shutout of the Canadiens. Campbell has allowed four goals in three games, suggesting the Kings will be OK while star goalie Jonathan Quick is out “week-to-week” with a lower body injury.

“Jack’s got ability, but he’s got a really good attitude and he’s got a great work ethic,” Kings coach John Stevens told LA Kings Insider. “He’s been all ears trying to get better. If you work that hard, you’re going to get better, and I think he’s really worked hard at his game to be ready for an opportunity like this.”

Center Jeff Carter led the offense in Montreal with a goal and two assists, while center Adrian Kempe scored his first goal since Feb. 7.

Kings defensemen Dion Phaneuf and center Nate Thompson will make their returns to Ottawa after being traded by the rebuilding Senators to Los Angeles last season.

Phaneuf also had plenty of praise for Campbell.

“He’s calm in there, mature,” Phaneuf said, per NHL.com. “I’m really happy for him because he works extremely hard. Things you might not see in practice … he really competes, he’s on every puck. For him to get a shutout, it’s well deserved. He won the hockey game for us.”

While Campbell is expected to start in goal for the Kings, Craig Anderson will be tending the pipes at the other end. The 37-year old Anderson allowed six goals in his last outing and, through three games, has a .895 save percentage and a 4.35 goals-against average — neither of which is acceptable.

Senators coach Guy Boucher, however, blames the problems in Thursday’s loss to the odd man rushes his team gave up.

“The minute we lose the puck, our reload has to be smarter, better, so we can avoid at least the rush goals that we’ve been giving,” said Boucher. “It wasn’t about the D-zone last game. It was more about the rush situation we didn’t sort out well. We didn’t have the right numbers the minute we lost the puck. If we improve that, we give ourselves a chance.”

While the Senators recalled winger Nick Paul and defenseman Christian Jaros, Boucher would only confirm that defenseman Ben Harpur will be making his season debut. The Senators could go with an 11-forward, seven-defenseman alignment.