The sizzling Ottawa Senators will take aim at a fifth consecutive victory tonight when they host the struggling Winnipeg Jets at Scotiabank Place.
In addition to winning four in a row, the Senators have also gone nine straight without a regulation loss (8-0-1) and are 11-1-2 in their last 14 trips to the ice.
As a result of its lengthy surge, Ottawa is now just one point behind Boston for first place in the Northeast Division and tied with Philadelphia for the fourth seed in the East. The Bruins will be in action tonight in Florida, but the Flyers are idle.
The Senators went 3-0 on their recent three-game road trip and are home for just one tilt before heading back out on a six-game swing. Ottawa is 14-8-1 on home ice compared to an 11-7-5 record as the guest.
Ottawa closed its recent trek with Saturday's win in Montreal. Daniel Alfredsson scored in the third round of the shootout to lift the Senators to a 3-2 decision over the Canadiens. Alfredsson -- who's now 4-for-4 in the shootout this season -- patiently waited for Carey Price to open up the five- hole and snapped a wrister between his legs for the win.
"I tried to fake a shot and thought he'd wait for me," Alfredsson said. "I was able to find a little bit of an opening."
The Jets turned in an excellent 10-3-1 in December, but things have not gone well for Winnipeg so far in 2012. Claude Noel's club is 1-5 in January and enters tonight on a three-game slide.
Winnipeg recently lost back-to-back games on home ice and the Jets managed just one goal over the two setbacks. The most recent defeat came in Saturday's 2-1 regulation loss against New Jersey. The Jets took the early lead over the Devils, but Kurtis Foster and Patrik Elias notched third-period goals to lift New Jersey to the comeback win at MTS Centre.
"I think the thing that we need to learn is to keep pressing no matter what the score, and if we're up or down it's got to be the same thing," Ladd admitted. "Like I said I thought we had some great chances there in the third and (Martin Brodeur) made some great saves."
The Jets, who are five points out of a playoff spot in the East, are just 6-11-4 as the guest this year and are kicking off a two-game road trip tonight.
Winnipeg defenseman Zach Bogosian has sat out the last two games with a lower- body injury and he is questionable for tonight.
Ottawa has won both meetings with the Jets this year and the Sens have scored 10 goals over the two encounters. Milan Michalek, who leads Ottawa with 23 goals this year, has four goals and one assist in the two matchups against the Jets.