by Todd Anderson
Senators head coach Bryan Murray has been impressed with his club's performance during its recent four-game road trip. After wins over the Philadelphia Flyers on Nov. 22 and Florida Panthers on Nov. 24, as well as a hard-fought loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday, the Senators are in Carolina to face the Hurricanes tonight.
A win will give the club momentum heading into a pair of home games this week against the Panthers on Thursday and Lightning on Saturday.
"Certainly going home with another win would be really nice -- against a team of this calibre in particular," Murray said after an optional morning skate in Carolina today. "We've played three games so far that have been pretty good.
"We could've won the game in Tampa. Their goaltender was good, and we didn't take advantage of a couple of scoring chances that were sitting right there for us. Fish (forward Mike Fisher) hitting the post on the breakaway, those are things that can turn a game around. If we could do a good job here tonight, you can go home and feel you've accomplished what you've had to accomplish."
Murray is anxious to get home to Ottawa, saying the current road trip, which has lasted eight days, has seemed much longer.
"This trip in particular, with a day in between each game, it seems like it has been longer than normal. My weeks usually don't last this long."
Former Hurricanes goaltender Martin Gerber makes the start for Ottawa tonight, while defenceman Anton Volchenkov remains a game-time decision.
"He skated this morning, but we'll talk again after he gets another treatment and just see where he is," Murray said of Volchenkov. "If he's fine to play, and it doesn't necessarily have to be 100 per cent but close to it, then we'll let him play. Otherwise, we'll make him wait another game."