Desperate Sens try to pick up points in Calgary
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators aim to make up ground in the race for a wild card position on Wednesday night as they resume their road trip against the Calgary Flames.
The Senators have lost three of their past four games, splitting the first two contests of a four-game road trip out west. That has the club four points back of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Ottawa followed up a victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the 2014 Heritage Classic by dropping a 3-2 decision to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. Craig Anderson yielded three goals on 30 shots to take the loss.
Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson both scored for the Senators, the latter going coast-to-coast through four defenders prior to wristing one that trickled across the goal line with 2:55 remaining in regulation.
"We started well and then we started trading chances with them, and we really couldn't keep up," Karlsson said. "Their goalie obviously made some huge saves for them, and we couldn't put it in the net obviously. I think we could have played a little bit smarter."
The Sens will wrap their road trip in Winnipeg on Saturday and may start backup Robin Lehner tonight on the back end of playing on consecutive days. Lehner has faced the Flames just once before and took a loss on Feb. 9, 2011, yielding five goals on 35 shots.
Anderson is 6-5-0 with a 2.32 goals against average in his career versus Calgary, a team that figures to be busy before the trade deadline prior to tonight's game.
The Flames have just 53 points on the campaign, ahead of only Edmonton (50) in the Western Conference and 15 points back of a wild card spot.
Calgary has a number of pending free agents it could deal, the biggest being forward Mike Cammalleri. The 31-year-old has 14 goals and 22 points in 44 games this season.
Cammalleri and Mark Giordano scored in Monday's 3-2 setback to the Minnesota Wild, Calgary's fourth loss in the past six games. Reto Berra gave up all three goals on 27 shots.
"Overall I felt I had a good game," said Berra. "They have a fast team and they like to shoot, but I thought we all played really hard tonight."
The Flames are set to play two straight and four of their next five at home, where they have won five of the past six.
Joni Ortio is expected to make his second career start tonight for the Flames. His NHL debut came last Thursday and he took a tough-luck defeat to the Los Angeles Kings, yielding two goals on 24 shots.
The Flames and Senators did not play during last season's lockout-shortened campaign, but Ottawa swept the two-game season set in 2011-12. The Sens' 5-2 road victory on Feb. 9, 2011 snapped a five-game slide in Calgary.