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Home-and-home series with Canadiens starts tonight

Thursday, 02.8.2007 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Home-and-home series with Canadiens starts tonight
Senators forward Chris Neil prepares his skates for tonight's game against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Place. Photo: T. Anderson/OSHC

by Todd Anderson

Playing in their ninth back-to-back game of the season, the Ottawa Senators can leapfrog over the Montreal Canadiens in the standings tonight with a win in the first game of a home-and-home series against their Northeast Division rivals. The Senators have already moved on from last night's 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres and the focus is now set on the Canadiens, whom they'll also visit on Saturday.

"We've got to step it up. The time is now," forward Chris Neil said this morning. "When you look at the standings, it's so close. Every game is so big. Tonight's a four-point night, and so is Saturday. Montreal is playing well right now. We've just got to go play our style of hockey."

While centre Jason Spezza feels his club has played well in the past couple of games, he knows it's important to remain focused on every little detail at this time of year.

"It's a game of inches. (Buffalo) gets a break last night on the power play, and that's the difference," Spezza said. "There are 10 teams playing desperate hockey right now. It's a dogfight. You can't take any games off.

"We just have to persevere and make sure we play consistent hockey. We've been in hockey games, it's not like we're getting blown out. It's just with a bounce here, or a bounce there, you could be fighting for a playoff spot or be in a pretty secure spot."

Senators head coach Bryan Murray says the time is now for his leaders to take charge, especially offensively.

"Your good players have to be your good players. (Dany) Heatley, (Daniel) Alfredsson, Spezza, (Mike) Fisher, players of that nature, have to be productive."

Ray Emery will start in goal for Ottawa tonight, attempting to tie a career high with his 23rd victory of the season.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
2 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
3 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
4 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
5 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
6 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
7 BUF 57 23 28 6 135 156 52
8 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 57 11 52 3 63
B. Ryan 56 20 26 -5 46
M. Hoffman 53 24 19 3 43
M. Stone 55 17 25 -15 42
M. Zibanejad 56 11 24 -3 35
K. Turris 51 13 17 -13 30
J. Pageau 57 13 10 3 23
Z. Smith 56 12 5 2 17
C. Ceci 50 6 11 -1 17
C. Lazar 52 5 10 1 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 22 19 4 .915 2.85
A. Hammond 3 6 2 .899 3.10