(SportsNetwork.com) - Dave Cameron will begin his career as an NHL head coach against some stiff competition when his Ottawa Senators host the Los Angeles Kings in Thursday's clash at Canadian Tire Centre.
Cameron was hired to replace Paul MacLean on Monday when the latter man was fired by the Senators after three-plus seasons behind the bench. MacLean won the Jack Adams Trophy after the 2012-13 campaign, but Ottawa missed the playoffs last season and is just 11-11-5 in 2014-15.
An assistant coach under MacLean, Cameron will make his NHL head coaching debut tonight against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
In addition to winning two of the last three Stanley Cups, the Kings also have owned Ottawa in recent years. The Sens are just 2-9-2 with a tie over the past 14 meetings against Los Angeles and the Kings have claimed five of the past seven encounters in Canada's capital city.
MacLean led Ottawa to only two wins over his last nine games, but his final effort behind the Sens' bench did result in Sunday's comeback win against Vancouver.
Ottawa trailed 3-0 in the early going against the visiting Canucks, but wound up winning 4-3 in overtime.
Erik Karlsson netted the game-winning goal for Ottawa 1:21 into the extra session. Mika Zibanejad, who finished with two goals and two assists, dropped a pass back to Karlsson in the slot and the Ottawa captain beat a screened Eddie Lack with a wrister for the win.
"We didn't start the game very well," Karlsson said. "Vancouver was more on their toes. After that, I thought we took over and we controlled the game. We created a lot of good scoring chances which we just didn't score on. By the end, we deserved to get the two points."
David Legwand also scored for the Sens and Bobby Ryan recorded three assists. Craig Anderson made 30 saves for the Senators, who halted a five-game skid.
Legwand's power-play tally sparked the comeback, cutting the deficit to 3-1 with 9:07 left in the second period. Zibanejad then scored twice before the end of the second period to even the contest by the end of 40 minutes.
Ottawa improved to 6-3-3 as the host with Sunday's win. After tonight, the Sens will play three straight and five of their next six games on the road.
The Kings, meanwhile, are hoping to halt a two-game slide when they play the second test of a five-game road trip tonight. L.A. has lost its last two in regulation, dropping a 2-1 home decision Saturday against Philadelphia before losing 1-0 Tuesday night in Buffalo.
Tyler Ennis' third-period goal proved to be the difference in the Sabres' close win over Los Angeles. Ennis scored the lone goal of the game on the power play early in the final stanza, beating Jonathan Quick from in front four minutes into the third.
Los Angeles has not won in Buffalo since Feb. 21, 2003 and fell to 3-5-4 overall on the road this season.
The Kings outshot Buffalo by a 34-16 margin, but Sabres netminder Jhonas Enroth prevented the visitors from scoring. L.A. has managed only eight goals over the last five games and is averaging just 2.54 goals per game this season.
"We have to score goals. We're not scoring enough," said Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. "The bottom line is we need to put pucks in the net."
Quick stopped 15 shots in Tuesday's loss and is expected to start tonight. He is 4-1-0 with a 2.01 goals against average in his career versus the Senators. Anderson will start for Ottawa and he is just 1-6-4 with a 3.80 GAA against L.A.
The Kings will continue their road trip with Friday's game against Montreal.
Ottawa played Sunday without forward Milan Michalek (upper body) or defenseman Marc Methot (back). Both players are questionable for tonight.