CALGARY, AB -- The playoff aspirations of the Ottawa Senators are dwindling.
The Senators, who finished seventh in the shortened season a year ago, find themselves on the outside looking in heading into Wednesday’s NHL Trade Deadline (and contest against the Calgary Flames). Ottawa sits 12th with 65 points through 62 games and seven points being the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Not only do the Senators have to make up the difference, they also have to leapfrog four teams in order to earn their third consecutive playoff appearance for Ottawa.
This Season: 27-24-11, 65 points (12th in East)
Last Season: 25-17-6, 56 points (7th in East)
Notable Injuries: None
Flames Season Series Record: 0-0-0
Karlsson has simply been Karlsson this season, leading all defencemen in scoring for the second time in three years. The 23-year-old’s 17 goals and 57 points rank first among all rearguards and also paces all Senators skaters, too. He’s coming into Calgary with goals in back-to-back games, too, and four points in his past five games.
Though he’s enjoying his most productive season of his career, Turris has slumped slightly in the past coming out of the Olympic break. He’s still searching for his post-Sochi point and has just two assists in his previous seven outings dating back to Feb. 1. Still, the 24-year-old has 19 goals and 44 points in 62 games this season.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Zibanejad, like Turris, is setting new career bests in all categories. His 11 goals are the first time the second-year pro has hit double digits, while he’s increasing his personal high with each and every point he records over the 25 he’s already established. The 20-year-old former first round pick in 2011 is solidifying himself in Ottawa’s lineup.
Ceci, selected 15th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft, has blossomed in his first pro season. An emergency recall in mid-December, the 20-year-old has forced the Senators into keeping him up in Ottawa. He’s averaging 17:23 of action in his 30 games while recording two goals and seven points.
Like he has much of his career in Ottawa, Spezza has paced all Senators forwards in scoring with 47 points in 57 games this season. He enters Wednesday’s game against Calgary with eight points in his past six games, too. Whispers had Spezza as potential trade bait heading into the NHL Trade Deadline, though that doesn’t sound to be the case.