NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 13th (All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (21-17-5) at Ottawa Senators (13-21-6), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A return home didn't help the Ottawa Senators. Now they will try to avoid matching their longest losing streak of the season in a matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at Scotiabank Place.
Ottawa has lost five straight games and is in danger of matching a season- worst six-game slide set from November 7-20. The Senators' last four setbacks had come on the road before a 2-0 home loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday.
With No. 1 netminder Alex Auld 0-5-2 over his last seven starts and having allowed four or more goals in six of those contests, the Senators recalled Brian Elliott from the American Hockey League on Friday. The 23-year-old made just his second career start, but got the loss despite making 25 saves.
Elliott hadn't appeared in a game since making his NHL debut with a win over Atlanta on October 10, 2007. Considered a top prospect for the Sens, Elliott will make his second straight start tonight. Auld will likely back him up, meaning Martin Gerber will be a scratch for the second straight game.
Defenseman Filip Kuba returned to Ottawa's lineup over the weekend after missing eight games due to a groin strain. Forward Jarkko Ruutu will also return to the club tonight after serving the second contest of his two-game suspension for biting Buffalo's Andrew Peters last Tuesday.
The Senators, who have also lost eight of their last nine, returned home on Saturday after going 1-6-1 on an eight-game road trip. Ottawa is last in the Northeast Division with 32 points, also good for the second-lowest point total in the Eastern Conference.
The Sens are 9-7-3 as the host this year and play in Atlanta on Wednesday before returning home for three straight.
The Hurricanes arrive in Ottawa on a bit of a slide themselves, having dropped two in a row following a season-high four-game win streak. The two setbacks have both come on the road, as Carolina wraps a three-game swing tonight and is 9-8-4 as the visiting team this year. The club will get to return home for a matchup with Toronto on Thursday before hitting the road again for four consecutive games.
Carolina has been outscored 9-3 so far on its trek. After a 4-2 loss to Florida last Thursday, the Hurricanes were downed, 5-1, in Boston on Saturday.
Justin Williams had the lone goal for the Hurricanes with Frantisek Kaberle and Ray Whitney getting assists. Cam Ward started but was pulled after allowing three goals on just 12 shots. Michael Leighton finished the game between the pipes and allowed two goals on 20 shots.
Ward is 3-3-0 with a 3.18 goals against average in his career versus Ottawa.
Carolina, 9-8-4 on the road this year, trails the first-place Washington Capitals by 10 points in the Southeast Division and also owns just a one-point edge over third-place Florida.
The Hurricanes notched a 2-1 home win over the Senators on November 7, but have still lost five of their last eight in the series. Carolina has also dropped two of its last three in Ottawa.
01/13 10:40:26 ET