Sens look to build off recent win in clash with Hurricanes

( - The Ottawa Senators look to build off their recent victory and better their playoff chances on Monday evening as they play host to the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Senators began a five-game homestand with Thursday's shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, their fourth loss in five games, but rebounded with a solid offensive showing on Saturday versus Edmonton.

Milan Michalek led the way in a 7-2 win, potting a pair of goals and an assist as Ottawa snapped a three-game skid at home. Kyle Turris, Mike Hoffman and Alex Chiasson added a goal and an assist each.

The victory has the Senators nine points out of a wild card spot.

"I think it was a huge win for us," said Michalek, who has heated up with seven goals and four assists over his past 13 games.

"Hopefully I'm getting my confidence back and feeling much more comfortable on the ice."

Senators goaltender Robin Lehner made 25 saves as he started an eighth straight game with Craig Anderson out with a hand injury. Lehner has lost both of his career starts versus the Hurricanes, posting a 4.82 goals against average and .862 save percentage.

Ottawa will be without forward Chris Neil tonight as he is out indefinitely due to a fractured thumb sustained in a second-period fight versus the Oilers.

The Hurricanes come in having lost two straight and five of their last seven games. They were blitzed early and never recovered in Saturday's 6-3 setback to the Minnesota Wild.

Carolina fell into a 3-0 hole early and saw Anton Khudobin allowed five goals on 23 shots in his first start since Feb. 3.

Andrej Nestrasil, Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm tallied goals for the Hurricanes, while Jay mcClement and Justin Faulk had two assists each.

"It was a very bizarre game," said Carolina head coach Bill Peters. "It was as bad as we've played in a long time."

Cam Ward figures to start tonight for the Hurricanes, who host the New York Islanders on Tuesday. He is 12-7-2 lifetime versus the Sens with a 2.35 GAA and .923 save percentage in 22 games (21 starts).

The 'Canes have won seven of nine and 10 of their past 14 encounters with the Senators, taking the first of three meetings this season 3-2 in Ottawa on Jan. 17. That was only Carolina's fourth win in its past 13 trips to Ottawa.