SENATORS (4-5-2) at BLACKHAWKS (7-2-3)
TV: SNET-E, TVA, CSN-CH
Last 10: Ottawa 3-5-2; Chicago 6-2-2.
Season series: This is the first of two meetings between the Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks. The teams next play March 28 in Ottawa. The Blackhawks beat the Senators 2-1 in Ottawa on March 2, 2012, in the most recent meeting.
Big story: The Senators held a players-only meeting Monday after back-to-back losses at Canadian Tire Centre this past weekend.
“You can tell guys left the rink [Sunday] night frustrated, myself included,” captain Jason Spezza told the Canadian Press. “When you get frustrated, it’s useless. Being frustrated and not talking about it can be a useless emotion, so when you get frustrated as a group, and I sensed I was frustrated and the guys were frustrated, that it’s important to talk about it so things don’t just fester.”
The Senators lost to the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 on Friday and to the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Sunday.
Senators: Ottawa has dropped three of four games, including the 5-2 loss to the Sharks on Sunday. The Senators have scored a total of four goals in the three losses. They scored six goals in their win against the Detroit Red Wings last Wednesday.
The Senators will be looking for a better start in Chicago. In the two home losses over the weekend, they faced two-goal deficits in the first period.
“We want to get off to a good start,” center Kyle Turris said after the San Jose game. “We talk about it in the room, and we just come out a bit flat and give them a couple of opportunities and it ends up in the back of our net."
Blackhawks: Chicago snapped a two-game skid with a 5-1 win against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Monday. The teams split a home-and-home series, with Minnesota winning 5-3 at United Center on Saturday.
The Blackhawks’ new second line of Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad and Brandon Pirri led the way in the win against the Wild, combining for six points.
"We've had a couple of shifts together this year, a couple looks, but to play a full game, that's the first time," Saad said. "Communication was huge. We got each other the puck and played well.
"It's a different look for our team. [We] had never been together, and we jelled well [Monday night]. That's big for our team."
Who’s hot: Erik Karlsson has four points in his past three games, including a goal and an assist in the Senators’ loss to San Jose. … Kane has scored goals in three straight (three goals, two assists), boosting his season total to seven, but he was a combined minus-5 for Chicago in those games.
Injury report: Ottawa forwards Clarke MacArthur and Jean-Gabriel Pageau are day-to-day with undisclosed injuries. … Chicago center Michal Handzus (upper body) is day-to-day. Defenseman Mike Kostka (lower body) is out until late November or early December.