NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 9th (All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (17-29-8) at Calgary Flames (27-21-7), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - While the Calgary Flames are now back in the Western Conference playoff picture, the Ottawa Senators are just trying to find their way into the win column for the first time in nearly a month.
The Senators hope to halt a 10-game skid with their first victory at Calgary in over eight years in tonight's matchup at the Saddledome.
Ottawa is on its longest losing streak since an 11-game slide from Dec. 30, 1995-Jan. 25, 1996 and has just one victory in its last 17 games overall. The Senators are 1-12-4 in that span and have the second fewest points (42) in the Eastern Conference, one more than the Islanders.
The franchise failed to pick up its first victory since Jan. 13 on Monday, falling 4-2 in Vancouver. Nick Foligno and Jason Spezza scored less than two minutes apart in the second period to close within one, but the Senators could not overtake the NHL-leading Canucks.
"It doesn't make this one any easier," said Spezza. "We're just not getting the wins. It's frustrating."
Brian Elliott gave up three goals on 29 shots and is now 0-9-4 in his last 15 outings. It is unknown if he or Robin Lehner will get the call tonight in net.
Elliott is 1-2-0 with a 2.46 goals-against in his career versus the Flames, while Lehner owns just three NHL starts in his career.
Forward Jesse Winchester is expected to miss a week due to a left knee injury suffered versus the Canucks, while Daniel Alfredsson did not practice on Tuesday and could sit out tonight due to an undisclosed injury. Alfredsson leads the Sens with 31 points.
Ottawa has dropped the first two contests of a four-game swing and five straight on the road overall. Getting on track in Calgary may prove difficult as it hasn't won there since Jan. 9, 2003.
The Flames have won all four meetings as the host since and recorded a 3-2 victory in Ottawa on Jan. 14 for their seventh victory in the last eight meetings overall.
Calgary will look to keep up its dominance against Ottawa and improve its playoff positioning. The Flames are 7-0-1 in their last eight and Monday's 3-1 win over the Blackhawks moved them into the eighth spot in the Western Conference, one back of the Ducks and one up on the ninth-place Kings.
Mikael Backlund, Rene Bourque and Curtis Glencross had the goals and Miikka Kiprusoff made 22 saves.
"Guys are staying very level headed, even keel, but we're also very excited in the fact that we put ourselves in this situation," said Flames head coach Brent Sutter.
Calgary also improved to 1-0-1 on a four-game homestand and has won four of its last five as the host.
Kiprusoff did not face the Senators in January and is 6-1-0 with a 2.23 GAA versus them in his career.
Blueliner Adam Pardy sustained an upper-body injury against the Blackhawks and is questionable for tonight. He missed 25 games earlier this year with a shoulder injury.
02/09 11:02:38 ET