by Todd Anderson
The Ottawa Senators host the reigning Stanley Cup champions tonight when the Carolina Hurricanes visit Scotiabank Place. After edging the Canes by one point, with 113, to finish first in last year's Eastern Conference standings, the Senators are expecting a tough battle tonight against Carolina.
"We expect the same fast-skating team," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said after Friday's practice. "We had some good games against them last year. It should be a good game (tonight)."
Added Senators head coach Bryan Murray, "I watched them play (their last two games) and they're working really hard. (Goaltender Cam) Ward has been very good. They're a team that finds a way to get scoring chances. They're an attacking team. They'll be a good hockey club."
Murray says he's looking forward to getting back into game situations after four days of practice.
"(Friday) was one of those practices where you can see the guys are ready to play. We have a chance now with five games in (eight) nights."
The Senators will play four games on the road next week when they visit the Washington Capitals on Monday, Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday, Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday and Boston Bruins on Saturday. Alfredsson was asked if the road trip might help bond his struggling team.
"If you asked for my choice, I would prefer playing at home," Alfredsson said. "But when you're on the road, sometimes that helps team bonding. I think with playing more games, you get some momentum. We just have to get our power play going to win us some games."
Senators goaltender Martin Gerber will start in goal tonight against his former team.
Fewer than 150 pairs of tickets remain for Saturday's game against Carolina. To purchase tickets, click here. To purchase other single-game tickets, click here. For more information on season tickets, click here.