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Senators ready for the stretch run

Wednesday, 03.1.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Senators ready for the stretch run
Dany Heatley, left, and Jason Spezza, right, are ready for the challenging couple of months which lay ahead as the NHL regular season winds down.

by Todd Anderson

With 26 regular-season games remaining to be played in 49 days, the Ottawa Senators won't have too many nights off in March or April.

"This is what hockey is all about," said Bryan Smolinski of the hectic schedule before the club left for Pittsburgh where they'll meet the Penguins tonight. "This is what you dreamed about as a kid. It's going to be fun."

Dany Heatley is ready to immediately switch his focus from the Winter Olympics, where he represented Team Canada.

"There are races all over from the top, to teams looking for a playoff spot. Games will be very important down the stretch. There's a lot of pressure on this team to win, and we knew before the (Olympic) break this was the most important time of the year. Now it's here, and it's time to deliver."

Heatley's linemate, Jason Spezza, is also ready for what lies ahead.

"The schedule is not kind but we have a good chance to win. Now is the time for us to look forward to the Stanley Cup playoffs."

Added defenceman Zdeno Chara, "This is the time of year you really sacrifice and play your best."

Coach Bryan Murray said he would continue to tinker with the lineup as the regular season winds down.

"With 26 games left, it's time to prepare a lot of things. We're battling Carolina and other teams for first place. We need balanced play from everyone. Games will be tougher now. Teams will line up and play the trap. We have to be real disciplined and get pucks on net in a different way. Whether it's rebounds or tips, we will need that to win."

Defencemen switch partners

In an attempt to get Anton Volchenkov back to his more natural left-side position, Murray has moved the Russian defenceman into a pairing with Brian Pothier. Rookie Andrej Meszaros will now patrol Wade Redden's right side.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
2 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
3 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
4 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
5 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
6 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
7 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
8 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 73 19 40 10 59
B. Ryan 69 18 35 9 53
K. Turris 73 21 31 0 52
M. Stone 71 18 33 15 51
M. Hoffman 70 26 20 20 46
M. Zibanejad 71 19 24 3 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 53 13 13 -10 26
A. Chiasson 67 11 15 -4 26
D. Legwand 71 9 17 3 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Hammond 14 1 1 .938 1.92
C. Anderson 14 12 7 .925 2.44