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Jets-Senators starts Hockey Day in Canada

by Pete Jensen

JETS (4-5-1) at SENATORS (6-3-2)


Last 10: Winnipeg 4-5-1; Ottawa 5-3-2

Season series: Saturday marks the second of three meetings between the Jets and Senators, who met in Winnipeg on opening day, Jan. 19. Craig Anderson stopped 27 of 28 shots on the day and Ottawa reeled off four unanswered goals to win 4-1 at MTS Centre. The teams will wrap up their season series on March 17 in Ottawa.

Big story: The Senators host the Jets in a matinee tilt to kick off "Hockey Day in Canada." Both teams look to bounce back after one-goal losses on Thursday.

Team Scope:

Jets: Winnipeg had its wheels moving in the right direction after Brian Little's overtime winner lifted the Jets past the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. Little even kept the momentum going Thursday, assisting on each of the Jets' two goals against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but Winnipeg let a 2-1 third-period lead slip away in the blink of an eye.

Less than a minute after Matt Frattin scored his sixth goal of the season to tie the game, Phil Kessel beat Ondrej Pavelec for his first goal in 11 games this season to give Toronto a lead it would not relinquish. The loss was Winnipeg's fourth in five games.

"We were a little bit tentative with about eight minutes to go in the game," coach Claude Noel said. "We were almost sitting back on our heels rather than putting pressure on."

Senators: Ottawa continues to cope with the absence of No. 1 center Jason Spezza, who had back surgery last week. But the team's balance on both ends of the ice has been a big reason for its success to this point.

The Senators rank in the upper half of the League in goals per game (2.82), thanks to another strong offensive season from reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson (nine points in 11 games). Ottawa's goaltending has also been superb, as Anderson has allowed two goals or less in eight of his 10 outings.

In the second of their four-game homestand Thursday, the Senators outshot the Carolina Hurricanes 47-26 but had a difficult time solving Cam Ward for most of the night. Ward stopped 45 shots in helping the Hurricanes force overtime, where Jay Harrison notched the game-winner to hand Ottawa a 3-2 loss.

"We just couldn't bury our chances," Karlsson said. "We probably could have had a couple more goals. [Ward] did some great stuff. He got them the two points."

Who's hot: Defenseman Tobias Enstrom is in the midst of an eight-game point streak for Winnipeg, accumulating two goals and 10 assists in that span. He's registered at least a point in nine of 10 games this season. … Daniel Alfredsson has scored a goal in each of his last two games for Ottawa.

Injury report: Pavelec (flu) is with the team but did not practice Friday, according to the Winnipeg Free Press, meaning Al Montoya will likely start Saturday. Zach Bogosian (wrist) is inching closer to a return, but is not expected to play against the Senators. Dustin Byfuglien (undisclosed) remains sidelined. … Spezza remains out indefinitely and Guillaume Latendresse (whiplash) is on injured reserve. Anderson didn't skate at Friday's practice

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