Senators-Jets Preview

The Ottawa Senators seemed to be feeling the pressure of the

postseason race before a victory over the NHL’s hottest team

snapped their slump.

The fading Winnipeg Jets are searching for a spark of their

own.

Ottawa seeks its third win this season over Winnipeg on Monday

night at MTS Centre.

The Senators (38-28-10) sit in seventh place in the Eastern

Conference, two points ahead of the eighth-place tie between

Washington and Buffalo.

They also remain in contention for the Northeast Division title

behind Boston and ended a three-game losing streak with an 8-4 win

over Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Ottawa – 2-3-2 over its last seven games – was outscored 9-2

during its skid, but busted out of its slump by scoring its most

goals since an 8-2 win over Toronto on April 3, 2008.

Daniel Alfredsson had two goals and two assists, Kyle Turris

finished with a goal and an assist and Nick Foligno set up three

scores, forming a formidable line Foligno hopes can have similar

success moving forward.

“Those are two fun players to play with,” Foligno said. “I think

we compliment each other well. We’re having a lot of success as a

line and hopefully we can continue that.”

Coach Paul MacLean said he’ll likely stick with the trio Monday

night, though he wasn’t as clear about the health of goaltender Ben

Bishop, who left midway through the second period with a lower-body

injury.

Craig Anderson came on in relief and stopped 19 of 20 shots, and

MacLean was unsure who will be in net against Winnipeg.

No matter, MacLean hopes Saturday’s victory provides a

boost.

“We’ve been a little bit streaky as a team,” MacLean said.

”Usually when we win one, we win a few. The confidence is high now

and we’re looking forward to getting on a plane and going to

Winnipeg and getting to play again.”

The Jets have no choice but to look forward after losing 3-1 to

Nashville on Saturday for their third defeat in four games.

Winnipeg (35-32-8) rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat

Washington 4-3 in overtime Friday, though it couldn’t carry over

the momentum.

Tim Stapleton, who scored the winner against the Capitals and

netted the lone goal Saturday, said the Jets will keep fighting

despite their slim chances to reach the playoffs.

Winnipeg is in 10th place, six points back of eighth with seven

games remaining.

“All we can really do is focus on Monday now,” Stapleton said.

“I’m not really sure what record we have to go (to reach the

postseason) but I’m pretty sure it’s close to undefeated. So, one

game at a time and hope for some losses.”

Ondrej Pavelec made 25 saves but dropped to 1-3-0 with a 3.92

goals-against average in his last four starts.

“We lost and it is what it is. Monday’s another game,” Pavelec

said. “Hopefully some teams will lose some points. We’re going to

battle until the end of the season.”

It’s unclear who will start in net Monday, though Chris Mason

made 25 saves in a 2-0 win over Ottawa on Jan. 16.

Milan Michalek had two goals and an assist in the Senators’ 4-1

victory Oct. 20, then scored twice in a 6-4 win Nov. 29.