Less than 24 hours after a big win over a Division rival, the Ottawa Senators are right back at it against a team that sits just a point behind them in the Eastern Conference standings.
Last night, Robin Lehner was rock solid and the Ottawa Senators took advantage of their power play opportunities as the Senators cruised to a 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. For a team that has had a heck of a time lately, it was a huge two points and a win they’ll hope to build on this evening in Carolina.
The Hurricanes are coming off a loss to the Bruins on Saturday afternoon and have struggled a little bit lately. They have lost four straight games and currently sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, just one point back of the 11th place Ottawa Senators. Eric Staal has led the way offensively for the Canes, with 14 points through 23 games. Goals have been pretty hard to come by for the Canes as only the last place Buffalo Sabres have scored less so far this season.
Pretty tough back to back situation for the Senators. After wrapping up their game around 10:00 PM last night, they had to board a plan for Raleigh and will start Sunday’s game less than 20 hours after the final horn sounded at the Joe Louis Arena. Perhaps the one saving grace is the fact that the Hurricanes also played yesterday in an afternoon game in Boston. Fatigue is likely to be a factor for both teams making it all the more important that the Senators get off to a good start.
Jared Cowen took some heat for an elbow he connected with last night. Initially it looked like Datsyuk was trying to sell the play but another angle seemed to show the elbow making contact. Datsyuk is expected to be out of the Detroit line up today. We’ll see if that’s a play the league decided to review. No morning skate for Paul MacLean’s group so we’ll have to wait until a little closer to game time to see how the Sens line up. Bruce Garrioch is suggesting that the former-Hurricane Joe Corvo could play.
Puck drop is scheduled for just after 5:00 PM.
The Daily Chirp- Some interesting comments from Elliotte Friedman last night on Hockey Night in Canada. He mentioned that the Senators have interest in both Michael Del Zotto and Ales Hemsky but that the team’s internal financial restrictions are limiting their options a little bit. We know the Senators would like to upgrade up front and on the backend so it’s pretty clear Bryan Murray will have to get creative if he wants to add to the line up before the trade deadline. If they could ever find someone willing to take on Milan Michalek’s salary, I think that is a move they would consider. Of course it would also be nice if Melnyk would allow a little more flexibility in the team’s budget but I really don’t think that’s going to happen until a little closer to the deadline.