SENATORS (4-5-2) at BLACKHAWKS (7-2-3)
TV: SNET-E, TVA, CSN-CH
Last 10: Ottawa 3-5-2; Chicago 6-2-2.
Season series: This is the first of two meetings between the Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks. The teams next play March 28 in Ottawa. The Blackhawks beat the Senators 2-1 in Ottawa on March 2, 2012, in the most recent meeting.
Big story: The Senators held a players-only meeting Monday after back-to-back losses at Canadian Tire Centre this past weekend.
“You can tell guys left the rink [Sunday] night frustrated, myself included,” captain Jason Spezza told the Canadian Press. “When you get frustrated, it’s useless. Being frustrated and not talking about it can be a useless emotion, so when you get frustrated as a group, and I sensed I was frustrated and the guys were frustrated, that it’s important to talk about it so things don’t just fester.”
The Senators lost to the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 on Friday and to the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Sunday.
Senators: Ottawa has dropped three of four games, including the 5-2 loss to the Sharks on Sunday. The Senators have scored a total of four goals in the three losses. They scored six goals in their win against the Detroit Red Wings last Wednesday.
The Senators will be looking for a better start in Chicago. In the two home losses over the weekend, they faced two-goal deficits in the first period.
“We want to get off to a good start,” center Kyle Turris said after the San Jose game. “We talk about it in the room, and we just come out a bit flat and give them a couple of opportunities and it ends up in the back of our net."
Blackhawks: Chicago snapped a two-game skid with a 5-1 win against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Monday. The teams split a home-and-home series, with Minnesota winning 5-3 at United Center on Saturday.
"We've had a couple of shifts together this year, a couple looks, but to play a full game, that's the first time," Saad said. "Communication was huge. We got each other the puck and played well.
"It's a different look for our team. [We] had never been together, and we jelled well [Monday night]. That's big for our team."
Who’s hot: Erik Karlsson has four points in his past three games, including a goal and an assist in the Senators’ loss to San Jose. … Kane has scored goals in three straight (three goals, two assists), boosting his season total to seven, but he was a combined minus-5 for Chicago in those games.
Injury report: Ottawa forwards Clarke MacArthur and Jean-Gabriel Pageau are day-to-day with undisclosed injuries. … Chicago center Michal Handzus (upper body) is day-to-day. Defenseman Mike Kostka (lower body) is out until late November or early December.
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