Sens hope to continue surge vs. 'Canes
OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators will be trying to keep their recent offensive surge going when they play the Carolina Hurricanes at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.
After 12 games scoring two goals or fewer, the Senators (12-7-1) scored four goals and three goals, respectively, in wins over the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins against two of the best goaltenders in the NHL, Montreal's Carey Price and Boston's Tuukka Rask.
Senators forward Mark Stone, who scored against the Bruins in Ottawa's 3-1 win on Thursday, has three goals and three assists in his past three games. The Senators, winners of two games in a row, have been generating offense with strong defensive play which has been creating opposition turnovers.
Goals by Ottawa defenseman Chris Wideman and Kyle Turris against Boston were the result of turnovers.
“We played real strong defensively and in the neutral zone,” Turris, who has a team-leading nine goals. “It was just an all-around solid game for us.”
“We were always in the right spots. We were always above the guys making it difficult for them and frustrating them,” Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, who is 10-4-1, said, “and we were able get out of our zone really easy (Thursday). That's a credit to our guys beating the forecheck and beating the pressure.”
The Senators defeated the Hurricanes 2-1 in overtime at Canadian Tire Centre on Nov. 1.
The Hurricanes have at least a point in 21 of the past 26 games against the Senators, going 16-5-5 since March 29, 2009.
The Hurricanes (8-7-4), an early season surprise in the NHL, had their five-game winning streak ended with a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. The Hurricanes' three-game swing through Eastern Canada started with a 2-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.
The Hurricanes have been one of the best possession teams in the NHL. They have 115 more shot attempts than they have allowed, third best in the league after the Los Angeles Kings (138) and the Boston Bruins (122). That's a Corsi of 53.53 percent for the Hurricanes.
“We can be better,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “The power play can be better, we can be at the net, be harder at both nets — theirs and ours. There's some things we did well, but some things you can improve on moving forward.”
With Carolina goaltender Eddie Lack out with a concussion, Cam Ward has started eight games in a row, giving up two goals or fewer in six straight.