CANUCKS (8-4-2) at SENATORS (8-6-1)
TV: SNET-VAN (HD), SNET-OTT (HD)
Vancouver 7-2-1; Ottawa 7-3-0
This is the first of two meetings. They split the two-game series last season with each team winning at home.
The Canucks had their six-game winning streak snapped in Montreal on Tuesday, but they remain one of the hottest teams in the NHL. The Senators have won four straight and should offer a tough test for one of the West's best teams.
Canadiens goaltender Carey Price stole the show Thursday, making 34 saves in a 2-0 win against the Canucks. While it would've been easy to chalk up the loss to a hot team that was due to lose running into a hot goaltender, captain Henrik Sedin
had a different point of view.
"It seems like we're back now to playing a different style on the road, which we can't do," Sedin told the Vancouver Sun. "We sit back a little bit too much. It looks like they have a lot of jump when you do that because they get in on the forecheck and create a lot of turnovers. We didn't get much going."
said the lack of anything on their power play, which went 0-for-4, was also a contributing factor to the loss.
"It was really scrambly," he told the Vancouver Sun. "Really scrambly. I think our power play was the main difference tonight. Usually, we generate chances and start to feel good about ourselves. But our power play wasn't very good, and then you go out there five-on-five and don't really have any confidence."
Senators: Jason Spezza
has found his groove, scoring twice in Ottawa's 5-2 win against Atlanta on Thursday. He has 3 goals and 4 assists in his last three games, all victories.
"I'm excited to get playing," said Spezza, who missed four games with a groin injury this season. "Our line is starting to get some chemistry. Alex (Kovalev) is playing real well and we hope to build off that."
"He's a big part of our team and what it does is alleviates pressure from other lines and puts a little bit more focus on him," coach Cory Clouston said. "But right now we've got contributions from a lot of other guys and it's nice to see."
Canucks forward Raffi Torres has 5 goals and 1 assist in his last five games. … Besides Spezza, defenseman Sergei Gonchar
has points in six of his last seven games.
Guillaume Desbiens broke his hand during a fight Friday and is out indefinitely. … Sens defenseman Filip Kuba
(foot) could make his return to the lineup, giving Ottawa a completely healthy roster.
Sens goaltender Brian Elliot has made 12 consecutive starts. … Canucks coach Alain Vigneault will make his second attempt for his 300th career win.
"We had six outnumbered situations in the first two periods where we didn't get a shot on net. Yes, they made some good plays, but our execution needed to be better. It's such a competitive League; when your execution is a little bit off, that makes it hard to win." -- Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, on why his team lost in Montreal