Streaky Senators take on Canucks
The streaky Ottawa Senators will aim for a fourth consecutive win tonight, as they continue a lengthy road trip by visiting the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.
The Senators have a respectable 10-9-1 record on the year, but they have been anything but consistent. Ottawa lost three in a row prior to a six-game winning streak from Oct. 20-30 and then lost five straight before recording the recent victories in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton.
Ottawa posted a 5-2 win over the Oilers on Thursday to even its road record this year at 5-5-0. The Sens will complete a six-game swing when they visit Pittsburgh for their next game on Friday.
The Senators struck for a trio of first-period goals and rode that momentum to Thursday's win over the Oilers at Rexall Place. Craig Anderson made 12 of his 22 saves in the third period for Ottawa.
"We played pretty good in our end and didn't let them get too many second or third opportunities," said Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean. "Once we got those first two goals we were able to relax a little."
Vancouver, meanwhile, will try to cap a three-game homestand tonight on a positive note. The Canucks opened the residency last Sunday with a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders, but was then pounded on Wednesday by the Chicago Blackhawks. The Canucks, who defeated Chicago in the opening round of the playoffs last year en route to a Western Conference title, is just 4-3-1 on home ice this year.
The Canucks trailed Chicago by a 2-1 score after two periods before the Blackhawks sprinted to the victory with three goals in the final 20 minutes. Corey Crawford stopped 28 shots, including 12 in the third period, to help lift Chicago to victory.
Jannik Hansen scored the lone goal for the Canucks, while Cory Schneider was tagged for all five goals on 27 shots.
"We were in the game and the wheels just fell off in the end," Schneider said.
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver's No. 1 goaltender, missed the game with an upper- body injury and will not be available tonight. Eddie Lack served as the backup to Schneider on Wednesday and has never seen action in an NHL game.
Canucks forward Ryan Kesler is questionable for tonight's tilt after suffering a shoulder injury in Wednesday's loss. Kesler, who won the Selke Trophy last season as the league's top defensive forward, has two goals and seven points in 14 games for Vancouver this season.
Vancouver beat the Senators twice last season and has won three straight, seven of eight and nine of 11 in this series. The Canucks have also taken four in a row and five out of six on home ice from Ottawa.