Published January 13, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - Tired of not getting positive results, the underachieving Ottawa Senators held a players-only meeting on Monday.
On Tuesday, we'll see if the get-together pays immediate dividends when captain Jason Spezza and the Senators visit the Chicago Blackhawks for a battle at the United Center.
Spezza, who is in his first season as captain following the departure of Daniel Alfredsson to Detroit, called the meeting and said the team had a dialogue for about 35 minutes. Count head coach Paul MacLean among those who think the meeting could help his team find its way after a 4-5-2 start to the season.
"I think any time you're talking about things and finding solutions when you work in a group I think it's a good thing and a positive thing, trying to find solutions," MacLean told the media after Monday's practice.
The Senators enter Tuesday having lost two straight and three of their last four games. Since beating the Detroit Red Wings by a 6-1 score last Wednesday in the Motor City, Ottawa's offense has been an issue as the club has managed just three goals over their past two games.
After dropping a 2-1 regulation decision Friday against the visiting Anaheim Ducks, the Senators were handed a 5-2 defeat in Sunday's home test against the San Jose Sharks. Ottawa did manage to fire 40 shots on goal against the Sharks, but San Jose goaltender Alex Stalock, making his first NHL start, turned away 38 of them.
"Right now it's not going our way, it's just something you have to fight through," Senators forward Kyle Turris said.
Craig Anderson allowed all five goals on 29 shots for the Senators in the loss.
Ottawa will try to get on track tonight against a Chicago club it has little success against in recent years. The Blackhawks have won two straight, five of six and seven of the past nine meetings between the clubs and the Sens have lost four in a row in Chicago.
The last time Ottawa won a game in the Windy City was back on March 28, 2001, when the Sens notched a 5-2 win.
Chicago, the defending Stanley Cup champions, is coming off a 5-1 rout of the Minnesota Wild on Monday. The Blackhawks won the road portion of the home-and- home series after losing Saturday's 5-3 decision against the Wild in Chicago
Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad each tallied a goal and an assist to help the Blackhawks halt a two-game losing streak. Nick Leddy, Patrick Sharp and Sheldon Brookbank added a goal apiece for the Blackhawks.
"I liked the results of everybody tonight," Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a very business-like approach to the game, played with a purpose and got some contributions across the board."
Corey Crawford turned away 29 shots in the triumph and he could get the start Tuesday on back-to-back nights.
Centerman Michal Handzus is expected to miss a third straight game for Chicago with an upper-body injury.