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NHL's hottest teams meet tonight at Scotiabank Place

Thursday, 01.18.2007 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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NHL\'s hottest teams meet tonight at Scotiabank Place
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The Ottawa Senators plan to shoot a lot of pucks on Roberto Luongo, above, when they host the Vancouver Canucks tonight. Photo: Getty Images

by Todd Anderson

The NHL's two hottest teams face off tonight at Scotiabank Place, when the Ottawa Senators, 10-1-1 in their last 12 games, host the Vancouver Canucks, who are 9-1-0 in their last 10 games.

After a slow start this season, Ottawa's surge has them in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Canucks hold top spot in the tightly contested Northwest Division with 53 points - just one more point than the Calgary Flames and two more than the Minnesota Wild. As division leaders, the Canucks rank third in the Western Conference standings.

Senators head coach Bryan Murray is happy to see the Canucks arrive in Ottawa to test his club.

"I like the fact that it's a good team coming in," Murray said. "There's going to have to be energy, a good work ethic and real discipline in the game. There's no question Vancouver is playing great. They have a great goaltender (Roberto Luongo). They play back in the neutral zone and they trap you to death. They're the New Jersey (Devils) of the West in a lot of ways. They have people who handle the puck really well, and we have to pay attention to that."

Murray, who traded with the New York Islanders for the rights to Luongo in 2000 while serving as the general manager of the Florida Panthers, admires the talent of the goaltender.

"We knew he was a special talent when he came into the league, and I remember when I traded for him in Florida you just knew the future for this guy was very, very bright. Now he's one of the top goaltenders in the league. He makes big stops, he keeps his team in games every night. Like Ray Emery is doing for us."

Emery, who will start for Ottawa tonight, is looking forward to the challenge that tonight's game brings.

"It's two Canadian teams who maybe started a little slow and are playing well now. We want to win two games before the all-star break."

Senators forward Dany Heatley, who is tied for fifth in the NHL with 28 goals, sees similarities between his team and the Canucks.

"They're playing very well defensively right now, especially with (Luongo) back there," Heatley said after an optional skate this morning. "Luongo is a good goaltender so we have to shoot a lot of pucks at him tonight. (The Canucks are) playing as well as us right now so it should be a good matchup."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 21 45 7 66
M. Stone 80 26 38 21 64
K. Turris 82 24 40 5 64
B. Ryan 78 18 36 5 54
M. Hoffman 79 27 21 16 48
M. Zibanejad 80 20 26 0 46
C. MacArthur 62 16 20 -6 36
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
D. Legwand 80 9 18 1 27
A. Chiasson 76 11 15 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02