Now the Ottawa Senators have a chance to launch a streak of a much better kind.
With a victory over the Stars at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Friday night (8:30 p.m., Sens TV, Team 1200), the Senators would take another step toward burying the memory of a seven-game winless slide. They stopped that skid with a 5-4 victory over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night.
In fact, another two points against the Stars would give this current five-game road swing a decidedly rosy turn. The Eastern Conference-leading Senators (17-7-3) also have a point in the bank from Tuesday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“Five out of six points, we’ll take any time,” Senators head coach John Paddock said following the team’s 30-minute pre-game skate Friday morning. “It’s up to us to put our best foot forward here. We don’t play again until Wednesday (at Carolina), so we’ve got to do everything we can to win the game (against Dallas).”
The Senators and Stars haven’t played in two years – Dallas won 2-0 at Scotiabank Place back on Dec. 15, 2005. Ottawa hasn’t played in the Lone Star State since dropping a 5-3 decision in Dallas on Jan. 28, 2004.
The current edition of the Stars is 15-10-4, good for top spot in the Pacific Division. They’re 7-3-0 in their last 10 games.
“They’re a very quick team. They’re a very patient team … sit back and hope for a break,” said Paddock of the Stars. “They’re a strong transition team, so if we turn the puck over in the neutral zone, they’re going to get lots of chances.”
Paddock added the Sens will also have to be wary of the Stars’ power-play and penalty-killing units.
“Their special teams are both in the top five. They’re the only team in the league that can say that,” he said.
Ray Emery will make his third straight start in goal for the Senators. His standout play in Tampa went a long way toward earning the Senators a point. While Emery wasn’t quite as sharp against the Panthers, he and his teammates skated off the ice with a win.
“If you win, it doesn’t really matter how you play sometimes,” said Emery. “Even though I felt better in the game before (against Tampa), it’s the result that matters.”