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After rough start, Sens return home to face Wild

by Brian Compton
WILD (1-1-0) at SENATORS (0-2-0)


Season Series: This is the lone meetings between the teams. They last faced each other on Dec. 16, 2010, when the Senators earned a 3-1 victory at the Xcel Energy Center.

Team Scope:

Wild: After winning their home opener on Saturday night against Columbus, the Wild traveled to New York for a Monday matinee and dropped a 2-1 decision to the Islanders. Minnesota stumbled out of the gate and allowed a pair of first-period goals and were unable to find the equalizer in the third period. Matt Cullen had the lone goal for the Wild.

"We didn't start on time," coach Mike Yeo said. "One-on-one battles, they were dominating. Loose pucks, they were dominating, winning them every time. When that happens, you don't execute the right way. Our wall play wasn't strong in the first period, and because of that, we spent the whole period in our own zone."

Senators: Ottawa is off to a rocky start as it aims to avoid a third straight loss Tuesday night. The Sens allowed 11 goals in back-to-back losses at Detroit and Toronto last Friday and Saturday, respectively. Clearly, they're hoping to put forth a stronger performance in their home opener.

"We have to understand there's going to be ups and downs," Sens forward Jason Spezza said. "The downs can't be that far down or you're going to dig yourself a hole every night."

Who's Hot: Cullen's tally on Monday afternoon was his second in as many games. Those tallies have come on just four shots on goal. … Spezza (1 goal, 3 assists) and Erik Karlsson (4 assists) have four points in Ottawa's first two games.

Injury Report: Minnesota will be without Mike Lundin (back), Matt Kassian (finger) and Cody Almond(back), as well as Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who will serve the second of his two-game suspension after high sticking Columbus forward Matt Calvert on Saturday night. … Ottawa is expected to be without Matt Carkner (knee) and Jesse Winchester (shoulder). The Sens are hopeful Peter Regin (shoulder) will make his season debut.

Stat Pack: Ottawa has scored eight goals in its first two games this season. They've all been scored in the third period.

Puck Drop: "We were a little slow to start. In the second and third, we responded well. We've got to find ways to finish." -- Wild forward Dany Heatley after Monday's 2-1 loss to the Islanders
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