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Senators look to even season series with Canes tonight

Wednesday, 28.12.2005 / 12:00 AM / News
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Senators look to even season series with Canes tonight
While the Senators will be without Jason Spezza (pulled chest muscle) as well as Martin Havlat and Brandon Bochenski (both with shoulder injuries), Chris Neil will be in the lineup.

The Ottawa Senators will butt heads with the Carolina Hurricanes for the last time this regular season, tonight at the Corel Centre. Ottawa is looking to even the season series at 2.

Carolina opened the season with two straight victories over the Sens by scores of 3-2 on Oct. 24 and 2-1 on Nov. 15, but the Senators rebounded with a 5-3 win on Nov. 22. The Hurricanes may have surprised some teams early on in the year but they've maintained their position as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.

"They're quick and their attack is very aggressive," Senators coach Bryan Murray explained as two of Carolina's key attributes. "They look to stretch their passes on a regular basis, and if their defence is not passing, they're willing to skate with the puck. They're quick on the forecheck and they take the wall (boards) away. When you get there, their goalie has been more than adequate."

Defenceman Chris Phillips agrees Carolina can cause fits to their opponents.

"They come hard from all areas of the ice. They force us to make plays. We're prepared for that. We have to move the puck quickly and everyone has to be coming back. We have to use our speed."

Offensively this season, the Hurricanes have been led by youngster Eric Staal, who currently leads the NHL in goals with 26. A game after being asked to keep an eye on New York Ranger Jaromir Jagr, expect Zdeno Chara to get a load of minutes against Staal tonight.

"He's a talented young player and he's having a great season," said Chara, the Senators assistant captain. "We'll have to keep an eye on him."

While the Senators will be without Jason Spezza (pulled chest muscle) as well as Martin Havlat and Brandon Bochenski (both with shoulder injuries), Chris Neil will be in the lineup. The rugged forward missed Tuesday's practice with the stomach flu but was back on the ice for the pre-game skate on Wednesday morning.

"I started to feel better around 8 p.m. last night," he said afterwards.
 
He spoke about what he feels the key to victory is tonight.

"We have to come out real hard. They're a young team. We have to come out with enthusiasm and take the play to them. If we do that, we'll be alright."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06