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Solid defence needed against Thrashers

Friday, 16.02.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
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Solid defence needed against Thrashers
The Ottawa Senators will be keeping a close eye on Ilya Kovalchuk, left, and Marian Hossa tomorrow. Photo: S. Cunningham/Getty Images/NHLI

by Todd Anderson

Boasting a dangerous arsenal up front, the Atlanta Thrashers bring this season's two-game winning streak over the Ottawa Senators - 5-4 on Nov. 8 and 3-2 in overtime on Jan. 1 - to Scotiabank Place tomorrow. With the likes of forwards Marian Hossa and Ilya Kovalchuk coming to town, the Senators will need a solid defensive effort to extend their current three-game winning streak.

"We know they have some goal scorers and that we haven't played that well against Atlanta as much as other teams," Senators head coach Bryan Murray said this morning after practice. "We have to play a responsible game and we can't take penalties. Obviously, they score on the power play a lot with Kovalchuk's big shot."

Once again, expect Murray to employ the defensive tandem of Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov against Hossa and Kovalchuk. Phillips assessed the talent of the two players.

"They're two different types of players. Kovalchuk has a great one-timer, and when you think you have him, all of the sudden the puck is on his stick and then gone again, and often in the net. Hoss seems to be able to reach his top speed in only a couple of strides. Both of them have strength to back up their talent. Any time you play against elite guys the important thing is to try and not give them time with the puck and to be confident in your own abilities."

While the Thrashers continue to lead the Southeast Division, they've gone 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.

"They're a desperate team, and after losing some games, they're going to want to turn things around," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said.

Senators winger Dany Heatley, who started his NHL career in Atlanta, also expects a spirited effort from the Thrashers.

"It's always a tough game. They have lots of dangerous guys. I expect them to be fired up to play us. They've beaten us twice now, but we've got them two more times. We're hoping to start with two points tomorrow."

The Atlanta Thrashers are expected to have forward Denis Hamel in the lineup tomorrow. Hamel was claimed off waivers by Atlanta from the Senators on Feb. 10.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
2 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
3 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
4 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
5 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
6 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
7 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
8 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
B. Ryan 43 12 21 7 33
E. Karlsson 46 11 22 -5 33
K. Turris 46 9 20 -8 29
M. Stone 44 11 15 9 26
M. Hoffman 43 16 9 19 25
C. MacArthur 45 13 11 -7 24
M. Zibanejad 44 11 12 1 23
D. Legwand 45 7 12 -4 19
A. Chiasson 43 7 10 -8 17
M. Michalek 42 6 9 -7 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 6 7 2 .900 3.16