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Sens aim to hit road on roll

Final game of homestand offers chance to extend winning streak to four

Wednesday, 11.03.2009 / 1:50 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Sens aim to hit road on roll
They'd love to finish their homestand with a flourish.

When the Ottawa Senators tangle with the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight (7 p.m., TSN, Team 1200), it'll mark the end of their longest stretch of play at Scotiabank Place this season. And they've got a chance to wrap it up with a four-game winning streak.

All the more reason for the Senators (26-29-10), who stand 12th in the Eastern Conference, not to take the 14th-place Lightning (21-32-13) too lightly.

"Where we are in the standings ... we want to have as many teams behind us (as possible) at the end of the year and Tampa is one of them," said captain Daniel Alfredsson after the Senators' pre-game skate earlier today. "We can't let them gain on us. I don't think it will be a problem for us at all to get up and get motivated and play a good game."

While the Senators' chances of extending their run of playoff appearances to 12 is slim, head coach Cory Clouston believes it's important for the team to keep building on its current momentum.

"We're playing to win. We're playing to create momentum," he said. "We still want to go out there and compete. We're pros... when they put on their jerseys, they want to compete. That's why they're in a sport. They want to be their best and they realize we've created some momentum here.

"We feel we've got the team pointed in the right direction and they want to keep (that going). It feels good to go out on the ice and practise after you've competed hard, you've executed your game plan and you come away with two points. That's what we're looking at."

"We feel we've got the team pointed in the right direction and they want to keep (that going). It feels good to go out on the ice and practice after you've competed hard, you've executed your game plan and you come away with two points. That's what we're looking at." - Cory Clouston
Added Alfredsson: "You're a competitive person and you hate to lose, I guess, especially (in games) where you feel you're the better team. Sometimes, those are the toughest games to play but as far as motivation goes, I see no problem (tonight)."

Meanwhile, forward Chris Neil (lacerated right calf) appears closer to a potential return on Thursday night, when the Senators travel to Boston to face the conference-leading Bruins (7 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200).

"Gerry (Townend, the team's head athletic therapist) asked me yesterday how I was feeling and I think we had Saturday in our sights," Neil said of the Senators' matinee matchup against the Penguins in Pittsburgh (3 p.m., CBC, Team 1200). "But hopefully, I can get back in the lineup tomorrow. That would be nice. I even thought about tonight but ... they wanted to make sure I got a couple of games under my belt before we try (playing) back-to-back."

Around the boards

Filip Kuba (flu) is out for the second straight game but Clouston is hopeful that the veteran blueliner will be good to go on Thursday in Boston. "We're crossing our fingers," he said  ... Brian Elliott (10-4-3) makes the start in goal against the Bolts. He's been between the pipes for every game during the Sens' current winning streak ... Fewer than 1,500 tickets remain for tonight's game.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
3 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
6 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
7 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
8 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 62 15 34 1 49
B. Ryan 58 17 31 9 48
K. Turris 62 16 29 -3 45
M. Hoffman 59 23 17 24 40
M. Stone 60 15 25 12 40
M. Zibanejad 60 16 19 3 35
C. MacArthur 53 13 13 -10 26
M. Michalek 57 11 15 -1 26
D. Legwand 60 8 14 -4 22
A. Chiasson 56 9 12 -8 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02