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Red Wings take second crack at Senators

by Brian Hedger

SENATORS (8-10-4) at RED WINGS (10-6-7)


Last 10: Ottawa 4-4-2; Detroit 3-2-5

Season series: This is the second of four games between the new Atlantic Division rivals. Longtime Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson won't face his former team, as he is out with a groin injury.

Big story: The first time the Senators faced Alfredsson, they steamrolled the Red Wings 6-1 on Oct. 23 at Joe Louis Arena. After the game Friday, the next two will be at Canadian Tire Centre, starting with a Dec. 1 visit that is scheduled to be Alfredsson's return to Ottawa.

The Red Wings will be out to even the score with the Senators on Saturday, even though Alfredsson is out with a groin issue that's held him out the past four games. Ottawa has dropped three straight and heads into a weekend back-to-back against Detroit and the Carolina Hurricanes.

Team Scope:

Senators: Ottawa had two days to think about its latest loss, a stinging 4-3 defeat on home ice against the Minnesota Wild. Minnesota beat Ottawa on a goal scored by Mikko Koivu with 2:57 left in the third period, capping a see-saw game that featured each team blowing a one-goal lead.

Robin Lehner will start, as No. 1 goalie Craig Anderson has allowed four or more goals in three of his past four starts.  Ottawa does have a 5-0-1 record against Atlantic Division opponents thus far, including that rout of Detroit on the road in October.

"We'd better be ready [for Detroit] after our last one, I know that," coach Paul MacLean said following the loss to the Wild. "Anytime you're going in there, it doesn't matter how they're playing going in or how you're playing going in, it could be a fun night."

Red Wings: Detroit got the monkey off its back by beating Carolina 4-3 on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena. Not only did the victory end a seven-game winless skid overall, but it was Detroit's first triumph on home ice since Oct. 15. The Red Wings had gone 0-2-6 between home wins.

Newly recalled forward Gustav Nyquist led the way with two goals, including the game-winner with 4:02 left in the third period. The 24-year old Swedish forward, called up from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on Thursday, might be the spark the Red Wings need.

"He was a big factor in this game," captain Henrik Zetterberg said of Nyquist. "He comes in right away and scores on his first shift and he creates a lot of speed and energy. And it looks like he's got confidence."

Who's hot: Ottawa's Mika Zibanejad had a goal and assist against Minnesota, and defenseman Erik Karlsson has recorded at least a point in 10 of the past 12 games. … Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk has a pair of two-goal performances in the Red Wings' past five games.

Injury report: The Senators report no injuries. ... Detroit center Stephen Weiss (groin) has missed six straight games; Alfredsson (groin) has missed four straight; and rookie defenseman Danny DeKeyser (separated left shoulder) is out 3-6 weeks and is on the long-term injured reserve list.

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