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Senators try to avenge loss to Hurricanes

by Eric Goodman

HURRICANES (4-4-0) at SENATORS (6-3-1)

TV: FS-Carolinas, SNET-East

Season series: The Hurricanes won the first of three meetings this season, beating Ottawa 1-0 last Friday in Carolina. Captain Eric Staal scored the game's lone goal and backup goalie Dan Ellis earned the shutout with 33 saves.

Big story: Ottawa tries to extend its season-opening home point streak to six games as it plays the second of four straight at Scotiabank Place. The Senators' longest season-opening home point streak was seven games, set back in the 2000-01 season.

Team Scope:

Hurricanes: Carolina is struggling to find any sort of consistency in the early part of this season as evidenced by its .500 record so far. But when the Hurricanes manage to gain a win, they do it in dominating fashion. The aggregate score of the Hurricanes' four victories this season is 14-5.

The Hurricanes will try to build off the momentum of their most recent game, a 4-1 win at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday. Carolina received goals from four different players and starting goalie Cam Ward was solid with 41 saves.

"I expected they were going to throw a lot of shots at the net, and I had to be ready," Ward said. "It took a little bit to get our legs, but to walk into that first intermission down one we really took over the second."

Senators: The home cooking at Scotiabank Place has tasted like a five-star gourmet spread this season -- Ottawa has earned nine of a possible 10 points there so far. While goalie Craig Anderson surrendered more than two goals for the first time in nine starts Tuesday, his teammates bailed him out in a 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres.

"It was a great effort by everybody and everyone was chipping in and doing their job and they got rewarded for it," Anderson said after earning his sixth win of the season.

Who's hot: Eric Staal is in the midst of a six-game point streak, with seven goals and three assists over that span. ... Anderson is 6-2-1 in his nine starts with a 1.33 save percentage and a save percentage of .956.

Injury report: For the Hurricanes, Tuomo Ruutu (hip) is on injured reserve. ... Ottawa defenseman Sergei Gonchar and forward Guillaume Latendresse both missed Tuesday's game with the flu. Gonchar is expected to play against Carolina, while Latendresse remains questionable. Defenseman Mike Lundin (thumb) skated in full practice for the first time Wednesday and the team posted via its official Twitter page that coach Paul MacLean said the blueliner is available to play Thursday; however, the Senators will carry eight defenseman until he's fully ready to suit up.

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