Already in the midst of their longest losing streak in franchise history and having the fewest points in the NHL, the Philadelphia Flyers look to avoid another dubious distinction on Saturday when they host the Ottawa Senators.
Philadelphia (8-22-4) has dropped a team-record eight straight overall, and is one defeat away from setting a franchise mark with six consecutive losses at home. The Flyers last win at the Wachovia Center came against Columbus on Nov. 24, their only win in 12 home games since Nov. 2.
Philadelphia's 3-10-4 home record is the NHL's worst.
A loss Saturday would give the Flyers their ninth winless streak of at least nine games in franchise history. This is the most games the Flyers have played without earning a win since they went 0-8-4 from Feb. 24-March 16, 1999, a franchise-record 12-game winless stint.
"You always get tired of leaving the rink with your head down," Flyers right wing Mike Knuble said after Philadelphia's 4-2 loss at Montreal on Thursday. "As a player you've got to believe that things will turn around and we'll have our day, too. It can't continue like this all the time."
Knuble has scored five times while Philadelphia has been outscored 32-15 during this eight-game slide, which started with a 4-3 shootout loss to New Jersey at home on Dec. 2. That is the only game in the skid that the Flyers have managed to earn a point, and they own a league-low 20 points for the season.
Philadelphia had failed to convert on all 17 of its power-play chances over its previous four games before going 2-for-5 in Thursday's loss to the Canadiens.
The Senators (17-18-1) hope to avoid a third straight loss Saturday and end their recent struggles. They have been outscored 35-15 while losing six of their previous eight following an 8-1-0 stretch from Nov. 18-Dec. 5.
To make matters worse, Ottawa announced Friday that scoring leader Jason Spezza will be out indefinitely after injuring his knee during Thursday's 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay. Spezza, who has 19 goals and 25 assists, said he has "no idea" when he'll be back.
"I'm definitely frustrated," he said. "The back's starting to feel better. One thing starts feeling better and this happens. But it's part of the game."
Ottawa allowed three unanswered goals in the third period of Thursday's loss.
"It just seems like the wheels come off in the third period," said Senators defenseman Wade Redden, who missed Ottawa's previous nine games with an upper-body injury. "We give up a goal, which is fine, but then we only get two or three shots. We totally got away from what we need to do to be successful."
Ottawa scored three unanswered goals in its only meeting with the Flyers this season, a 3-2 win in Philadelphia on Nov. 22 in which Redden scored with 20.6 seconds left in overtime. The Flyers won three of four meetings last season.
Ottawa forward Dany Heatley has two goals and three assists while contributing at least one point in his last three games, including his 150th career goal on Thursday. Before this run, Heatley went pointless in a season-high four straight contests.