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Senators seek better effort against Oilers

Ottawa has won five of eight since 7-2 loss to Edmonton

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

SENATORS (28-26-6) at OILERS (22-32-6)

TV: 9 p.m. ET, RDS, SNW, TSN5, NHL.TV

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers will attempt to end a four-game losing streak at Rexall Place on Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators, who they defeated 7-2 earlier in February.

Ottawa has won five of eight games since losing to Edmonton on Feb. 4, and is on a three-game win streak. 

Edmonton has lost seven of eight games since their win against the Senators and is on a four-game losing streak. 

"I don't think we take much out of that last game, that was a low point of the season for us," Senators forward Bobby Ryan said. "That was a turnaround game for us in that we've been building from there. We lost a couple afterwards as well, but we started putting building blocks in those games to where we are now, having won three in a row and doing things the right way. Sometimes it takes a game like that and then seeing it on video to really wake you up and that was it. We've flushed it, the room doesn't talk about it anymore and we'll be a different team tonight." 

Oilers forward Jordan Eberle had two goals and an assist for Edmonton in the win against Ottawa. The seven goals matched the Oilers' highest offensive output in a game this season. They defeated the New York Rangers 7-5 on Dec. 11. 

"I'd like to think our team would be very motivated to play against them if we had that type of game the last time," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "They're going to be hungry. They're closer to a playoff position than us, so they're going to be excited about pushing and playing and they're on a little bit of a roll." 

The Senators are six points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Ottawa defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout Saturday. 

"We're not thinking about that first game [against Edmonton] anymore," Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson said. "At the time, it wasn't fun and it woke us up a little bit. That was something that we had to discuss to make sure that it doesn't happen to us ever again and we moved on from it pretty quickly, I think." 

The game against Edmonton is the first of a three-game Western Canada road trip for the Senators. They're at the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday and Calgary Flames on Saturday. 

Edmonton is playing the final game of a six-game homestand, which began with a 5-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 11. 

"We're going to have to put in a real solid effort tonight, [Ottawa] is going to be hungry to come in here and get two points," Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse said. "The homestand hasn't gone the way we wanted to, but at the same time, today is a new day. You can only reflect so much, you don't want to look back too much. The biggest thing for us is coming out and putting in a good effort and trying to get the right result, and that has to be our main focus and you can't look too much in the past." 

Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot will make his 11th start in the past 12 games. Goaltender Craig Anderson will start for the Senators. 

Here are the projected lineups: 
Mike Hoffman - Kyle Turris - Mark Stone  
Ryan Dzingel - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan 
Nick Paul - Curtis Lazar - Chris Neil  
Zack Smith - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Alex Chiasson  
Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson 
Dion Phaneuf - Cody Ceci  
Chris Wideman - Mark Borowiecki  
Craig Anderson 
Andrew Hammond  
Injured: Clarke MacArthur (concussion) 
Scratched: Patrick Wiercioch, Shane Prince  
Benoit Pouliot - Connor McDavid - Jordan Eberle 
Taylor Hall - Leon Draisaitl - Teddy Purcell  
Zack Kassian - Mark Letestu - Nail Yakupov  
Iiro Pakarinen - Matt Hendricks - Lauri Korpikoski  
Andrej Sekera - Mark Fayne  
Darnell Nurse - Justin Schultz  
Brandon Davidson - Jordan Oesterle   
Cam Talbot 
Laurent Brossoit 
Injured: Oscar Klefbom (lower body), Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Eric Gryba (knee) 
Scratched: Anton Lander, Adam Clendening  
Status report: Oesterle will make his season debut. He was recalled Sunday from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League. Oesterle had one assist in six games with the Oilers in 2014-2015. Defenseman Nikita Nikitin was sent to Bakersfield on Sunday. 
Who's hot: Eberle has four goals and four assists in his past six games. … Hall has two goals in his past three games. … Pouliot has two goals and an assist in his past three games. … Smith has two goals in his last two games.

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