The Senators had won four in a row before dropping Saturday's home tilt to the Boston Bruins. The regulation win was big for the Bruins, who extended their lead atop the Northeast Division to five points over Ottawa. The Sens are still sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference and are four points ahead of eighth-seeded Winnipeg.
Patrice Bergeron tallied twice and added one assist for the Bruins in the important 5-3 victory. Daniel Alfredsson scored a pair of late goals for the Senators, who also lost in regulation for the first time since Feb. 7 against St. Louis.
"They're a good hockey club for a reason. We've played some better games against them but we can't find a way to beat them," Spezza said about Boston, which is 4-0 against the Senators this season. "We definitely battled them hard."
Karlsson extended his point streak to six games, and his three-point performance gives him 63 on the season, tying him with Norm Maciver (63 in 1992-93) for the most points in a single season by an Ottawa defenseman. Spezza also reached a milestone, as his primary assist on Alfredsson's first goal was the 600th point of his career.
With No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson sidelined with a lacerated pinky finger on his right hand, Auld could get the start again today for the Senators. Robin Lehner, who was recalled from Ottawa's AHL affiliate in Binghamton, has started just one game at the NHL level this year and that was a win over Toronto on Oct. 30.
Today's test marks the end of a three-game homestand for the Sens, who are 16-12-3 as the host this season.
The Isles are eight points out of a playoff spot in the East and are coming off a victory on Friday against the rival Rangers. Matt Moulson's goal in the fourth round of the shootout lifted the Islanders to a 4-3 home decision over the Eastern Conference leaders.
After the teams traded goals in the first round and misses in the second and third, Moulson skated down the center of the ice and snapped a wrister past the stick side of Martin Biron. The Rangers' John Mitchell had a chance to keep the shootout going, but his five-hole attempt was turned aside by Evgeni Nabokov to snap a two-game slide for the Islanders.
"I always liked taking shootout shots," said Moulson. "It's fun for the fans and that was an exciting finish."
Moulson had a goal and an assist in regulation, while P.A. Parenteau scored twice for the Islanders, who improved to 8-8 in games played past regulation this season. Nabokov stopped 33-of-36 shots.
Today's test marks the first stop on a three-game road trip for the Islanders, who are 12-13-3 away from Nassau Coliseum this season.
The Islanders and Senators have split two games this season, but Ottawa slammed New York, 6-0, on Long Island earlier this week. Karlsson totaled four points on two goals and two assists for Ottawa in Monday's rout, as the Sens won for the seventh time in the last 11 encounters between these clubs. The teams have split the last eight meetings in Canada's capital city.