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Wednesday, November 17th (All times eastern)

Ottawa Senators (9-8-1) at Carolina Hurricanes (8-9-0), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will try to end an emotional day on a positive note when they fly into Raleigh to battle the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at RBC Center.

The Senators are in the midst of a four-game road trip, but flew back home to Ottawa following Monday's loss in Philadelphia to attend the memorial service for Daron Richardson, daughter of Senators assistant coach Luke Richardson. Daron passed away at the age of 14 on Saturday, succumbing to injuries suffered during a suicide attempt the day before.

"To a man, (we thought) it was the right thing to do," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson told his team's web site about returning home for the service. "We want to be there for their family and help them out in any way we can. As far as the road trip goes, we'll just take it as it comes."

The Senators began their road trip with Saturday's 2-0 win in Boston, a victory that came just hours after the club learned of Daron Richardson's death. The club did not fare as well in the second stop, however, losing a 5-1 decision in Philadelphia on Monday. Mike Richards notched a pair of goals and totaled three points to lead the Flyers.

Jason Spezza had the lone goal for the Senators. Brian Elliott, who twice shut out Philadelphia and won all of his three starts against the Flyers last season, was torched for five goals on 46 shots in the loss.

The Senators will fly into Raleigh after this morning's memorial service, leaving them with just a few hours to prepare for tonight's game. However, Alfredsson doesn't think the late flight should harm his team's prospects against the well-rested Hurricanes.

"This is an issue that's more important than the game and I'm sure we'll find enough energy to play that night and I think it might even be a good thing for the team," Alfredsson added.

On the milestone front, Senators winger Alex Kovalev enters tonight just one point shy of 1,000 for his career. He will be the third Russian player to reach that mark, joining Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Mogilny.

The Senators, who are 4-4-1 on the road this year, will complete this swing Friday in St. Louis.

Carolina last played on Saturday in Montreal and the club suffered its second straight lopsided defeat. The Hurricanes were dismantled, 8-1, by a visiting Philadelphia team last Thursday and two days later were dealt a 7-2 loss by the Canadiens. Tomas Plekanec had a goal and three assists to lead the way for the Habs.

"I liked our first period, I thought we were the better team in that stanza," said Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice. "We battled back and made some simple mistakes with puck control. There are consistency issues with our team that we have to sort out."

Anton Babchuk and Tom Kostopoulos netted the goals for the Hurricanes, while Cam Ward was pulled after allowing four goals on 22 shots to take the loss. Ward was also yanked from the loss to the Flyers, but is expected to get the start tonight.

Carolina is 4-3-0 as the host this year and had won three in a row on home ice prior to the blowout loss to Philadelphia.

The Senators posted a 3-2 regulation win over a visiting Hurricanes club back on October 14 and Ottawa has won five of eight overall in the series. Carolina, however, has taken the last five meetings in Raleigh.

11/17 11:07:06 ET


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