|"You have to be aware of top players, and he's one of them," said Alfredsson of Carolina's Eric Staal (photo) |
Both the Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes will be playing to win back some respect tonight when they meet at the Corel Centre at 7:30 p.m.
The Hurricanes are coming off a 9-0 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers last weekend. The one-sided loss came after the Southeast Division-leading 'Canes rolled off nine straight victories. For Ottawa, they will be looking for revenge after the Hurricanes handed them their first loss of the season (first of just two this season) by a 3-2 score back on Oct. 24 in Carolina.
Senators coach Bryan Murray summarized what the Hurricanes did well in that first meeting.
"They played very well with the puck. Their (defence) joined the play well. Martin Gerber was pretty good in the third period. We got an early lead and forgot we had to keep playing."
Defenceman Wade Redden said Carolina never gave up, despite falling behind early on during the first game.
"We had a two-goal lead but they chipped away. They're a pretty scrappy team and they play well as a team. Tonight is going to be a good quick game."
Captain Daniel Alfredsson says his team will have to keep a close eye on one of the league's budding superstars.
"(Eric) Staal wasn't on the ice that much two years ago but he's one of the elite players in the league now. You have to be aware of top players, and he's one of them."
Asked to comment on Carolina's big loss to the Atlanta Thrashers in their last game, Murray warned they'd be much better tonight.
"You know full well what happened. When teams get comfortable and when you win, it becomes harder to win your next game. Emotions are different, and I believe what happened in Carolina is what was happening over here a little bit. We went to Boston (won 5-2 on Nov. 10) and felt very comfortable and didn't play very well, and Dominik Hasek didn't allow anything to happen. I think you'll see a fired up team come out against us tonight but we'll try to respond from the beating they took."
Dany Heatley agrees Carolina will be a tough opponent once again.
"When you lose like that after a streak, you're hungry and ready to go."