Sens take aim at 3rd straight win vs. Islanders
The Ottawa Senators have been compiling points at a steady rate over the past several weeks and they'll shoot for a third straight win when they visit the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
With their consecutive wins this weekend against Buffalo and Winnipeg, the Senators have recorded just three victories in eight March contests. However, Ottawa has gained at least a point in 12 of its last 14 games, going 8-2-4 during that stretch.
The Senators, who are seeded fifth in the Eastern Conference, posted an overtime win Saturday at Buffalo before slamming the visiting Winnipeg Jets by a 4-1 count on Sunday.
Kyle Turris and Jakob Silfverberg scored in a 75-second span late in the third period to help Ottawa down the Jets at Scotiabank Place.
"He has learned how to adapt to that role (top center) and hopefully the offense will come now," Senators head coach Paul MacLean said of Turris.
Silfverberg tallied twice for his first career multi-goal game, and Guillaume Latendresse once for the Senators. Daniel Alfredsson and Sergei Gonchar each picked up two assists to back a 25-save performance by Robin Lehner.
With Ottawa holding a 2-1 lead and Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey in the box for shooting the puck into the stands, Alfredsson slid a cross-ice pass from the right wing to Turris, who whipped the puck home for a 3-1 game with 8 1/2 minutes remaining.
Only 75 seconds later, Silfverberg wheeled from behind the Winnipeg net to the left circle and scored with a rising wrister.
"We can play him in any situation and have a lot of confidence in him," MacLean said of the rookie Silfverberg.
Sunday's contest was the beginning of a stretch that sees Ottawa play six of seven on home ice, but Tuesday's matchup at Nassau Coliseum is the lone road contest during the span. The Sens are 10-1-3 at home this season compared to a 5-7-3 record everywhere else.
The Islanders also enter Tuesday's tilt coming off consecutive wins, as the club recently ended a three-game road trip with back-to-back victories at Tampa Bay and Florida.
After posting a 2-0 win Thursday in Tampa, the Isles notched a 4-3 regulation win Saturday against the Panthers. Casey Cizikas scored the winner with 7:05 to play as New York held off Florida, 4-3.
The Islanders led 3-0 after 40 minutes, but allowed Florida to even the score with three goals in a span of less than two minutes in the third period. However, Cizikas' game-winning tally would save the day with 7:05 left in regulation.
Keith Aucoin left the puck along the boards to the left of the net for Cizikas, who then pushed it further along to Colin McDonald, who then sent it back to Cizikas and he caught Clemmensen looking the other way for his fourth goal of the season.
"We certainly don't want to blow leads like that every night because it's not a way to build success, but it's nice that we got the win," said Cizikas.
Radek Martinek, Kyle Okposo and Brad Boyes all scored while Evgeni Nabokov made 27 stops for the Islanders, who haven't won three games in a row since March 25-29 of last season.
The Islanders, who are three points out of a playoff spot in the East, are playing the next four games at Nassau Coliseum. New York is just 5-8-2 as the host this season.
The Isles and Sens have split two meetings so far in 2013 and Tuesday's encounter is the season series finale. New York ended a four-game losing streak against Ottawa with a 3-2 shutout win at the Coliseum on March 3.