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The Ottawa Senators only pulled off one deal Tuesday afternoon before the NHL's trading deadline, but they hope it's one that will help carry them deep into the postseason.
Oleg Saprykin is expected to make his Ottawa debut when the Senators host the defending Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes in the finale of a home-and-home series at Scotiabank Place on Wednesday night.
Ottawa (37-22-4) acquired Saprykin, a left wing, from Phoenix with a seventh-round pick in 2007, in exchange for a second-round selection in 2008. Saprykin, the 11th overall pick by Calgary in the 1999 draft, is having the best season of his career with 14 goals and 20 assists in 59 games.
"He's got some scoring talent, he's got some offense to him, works very hard and he's an energy hockey player, so we thought he was a good fit for our hockey club," Senators general manager John Muckler said.
Saprykin will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but was happy to join a contender for the stretch run.
"It's great to go to Ottawa," Saprykin told reporters in a conference call from Edmonton, where the Coyotes played Tuesday night. "It's good that everybody there expects to play in the finals of the Stanley Cup. I was a little surprised to be traded, but it's great to go to a team going into the playoffs."
Ottawa and Phoenix also made a trade on Jan. 3, when the Senators got center Mike Comrie for prospect Alexei Kaigorodov. Comrie has eight goals and 13 points in 22 games since joining Ottawa.
Comrie was held without a point on Tuesday, but Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza each extended their point streaks to eight games in Ottawa's 4-2 win at Carolina (32-26-7).
Heatley, who opened the scoring with his team-high 37th goal, has six goals and eight assists during his run. After getting two assists, Spezza scored into an empty net to give him six goals and nine assists in his streak.
Ottawa is 7-0-1 in the last eight games and holds fourth place in the Eastern Conference, three points in front of Pittsburgh.
The Hurricanes got second-period goals 19 seconds apart from Eric Staal and Josef Vasicek, but gave up a third-period lead at home for the third game in a row.
"It's frustrating, for sure," Staal said on the team's official Web site. "We're playing not to lose, not to get scored on and not playing our game, which is attacking and going at people, continuing to jump into the rush, continuing to generate offense. When you don't do that you leave yourself vulnerable.
"We've got to be ready to play hard tomorrow and get it done in their building."
With 71 points, Carolina starts play in ninth place in the East but is only one point behind the New York Islanders and Montreal for seventh.
Cory Stillman added two assists in his second game back after missing seven with a knee injury. He has a goal and four assists in his last three games versus the Senators.
Carolina has won three of its last four visits to Ottawa, including a 3-2 victory on Nov. 4.