NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, February 17th (All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (22-25-8) at Colorado Avalanche (26-30-1), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Owners of their longest winning streak of the season, the Ottawa Senators will try to wrap a five-game road trip perfect tonight in a battle with the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.
After going just 4-6-2 in the month of January and then starting February with a 7-4 loss to Washington, the Senators made a coaching change, firing Craig Hartsburg and replacing him with Cory Clouston. Ottawa lost its first game with Clouston on the bench, then notched a point with a 4-3 shootout loss to Boston on February 5.
However, a shootout victory over Buffalo two days later kick started what has turned into a season-best five-game winning streak, the Senators longest since they won six straight on December 5-18, 2007.
Ottawa's last four wins have come on the road, including Monday's 2-0 victory in Nashville. Alex Auld stopped 24 shots for his first shutout of the season and sixth of his career. Auld has now won back-to-back decisions, including a relief stint versus the Minnesota Wild on Saturday when he halted all 17 shots faced in relief of rookie Brian Elliott.
Dany Heatley scored versus Nashville to give him four goals over his last three games. He has three tallies and four assists in five career games versus the Avalanche.
Nick Foligno also scored for the Sens, who have upped their road record this year to 10-16-3. Ottawa, though, is still tied with Toronto for last in the Northeast Division and 11th overall in the Eastern Conference with 52 points.
The Senators have won two straight in Colorado, including a 6-2 victory the last time the clubs met in Denver on December 12, 2005. However, the Avalanche's 2-1 win in Ottawa on October 19, 2006 halted Ottawa's four-game series unbeaten streak (3-0 with a tie).
Colorado halted a four-game losing streak its last time out on the ice, as the Avalanche knocked off the rival Detroit Red Wings, 6-5, in a shootout. Defenseman Jordan Leopold notched the deciding tally in the fifth round of the extra session.
Five different Avalanche players scored in regulation, with Ian Laperriere, Milan Hejduk and Ben Guite posting a goal and an assist each for the Avs, who beat the Red Wings for the third time this season in as many chances.
Andrew Raycroft made 40 saves to earn his first victory since January 10, ending a personal six-decision losing streak.
Colorado, which is last in the Western Conference with 53 points, is 16-14-0 at home this year and has dropped five of its last seven as the host. Following tonight's contest, the Avalanche won't play at the Pepsi Center again until March 4 versus Detroit, as the club begins a six-game road trip Friday in Washington.
02/17 10:41:19 ET