GAME: Ottawa Senators (37-19-9-5) at Vancouver Canucks (37-21-9-4).
TIME: Saturday, 10 p.m. EST.
Locked in a three-way battle for first place in the Northeast Division, the
Ottawa Senators know they cannot afford any prolonged slumps.
The Senators will try to turn up their intensity when they take on the
Vancouver Canucks at General Motors Place.
Ottawa has lost three of five games this month, including Thursday's 4-2
setback in Calgary, dropping it to 1-1 on its five-game road trip.
Marian Hossa and Martin Havlat scored for the Senators, who remained tied
with Toronto for second place in the Northeast, just one point behind Boston.
With 12 games to play, the Senators know they need every point they can get.
"They played hard, they forechecked hard, they did all the things we
expected them to do, so you have to give them credit," Senators defenseman
Wade Redden said of the Flames. "They were real hungry and we can probably
tear a page out of their book and maybe do the same. This is the time of year
where you have to pick it up."
Ottawa center Jason Spezza failed to score for the 13th straight game after
picking up 19 goals in the Senators' first 57 contests.
The Canucks are 1-0-1 since losing forward Todd Bertuzzi for the rest of the
season due to a league-imposed suspension for his vicious attack on Colorado
center Steve Moore Monday.
After a 1-1 tie with Minnesota on Wednesday, Vancouver pulled out a 4-3
victory in Edmonton on Friday as newly acquired forward Geoff Sanderson scored
the game-winner with 33 seconds left in overtime.
Sanderson has two goals and an assist in two games for the Canucks, who
remained four points behind the Avalanche for first place in the Northwest
Division. Vancouver is five points back of Detroit for the most points in the
STANDINGS: Senators - 88 points, 2nd place (tied), 1 PB, Northeast Division.
Canucks - 87 points, 2nd place, 4 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Hossa, 31 goals and 74 points; Daniel Alfredsson,
45 assists; Chris Neil, 162 PIM. Canucks - Markus Naslund, 32 goals, 44 assists
and 76 points; Jarkko Ruutu, 125 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 11): Senators - Power play: 22.6 percent (75
for 332), 2nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.8 percent (253 for 302), 16th.
Canucks - Power play: 15.7 percent (53 for 338), 19th. Penalty killing: 86.1
percent (272 for 317), 2nd.
GOALTENDERS: Senators - Patrick Lalime (23-20-7, 3 SO, 2.30 GAA); Martin
Prusek (13-4-2, 3, 1.86). Canucks - Dan Cloutier (27-20-5, 4, 2.37); Johan
Hedberg (8-4-2, 3, 2.32).
SEASON SERIES: Canucks, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 27; Canucks, 3-2 (OT). At Ottawa, Cloutier stopped 31
shots for his 100th career victory. Naslund came through with the game-winner
4:13 into overtime. Ottawa had two golden opportunities to win it late, but
Chris Phillips hit the crossbar with less than a minute left in regulation, and
Cloutier stopped Zdeno Chara's bid 1:50 into overtime.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 15-12-4-1 on the road; Canucks - 17-11-6-0 at