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Oilers' talent, speed catches Senators' attention

Despite recent dominance over Alberta foe, Ottawa isn't taking anything for granted

Thursday, 17.11.2011 / 3:41 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Oilers\' talent, speed catches Senators\' attention
Goaltender Craig Anderson and the Senators are looking to finish off an Alberta sweep against the Oilers in Edmonton tonight (Getty Images).

Nobody needs to remind the Ottawa Senators that the past is indeed the past.

Just two days ago, the Senators' ears were filled with talk of their lengthy drought between victories at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. Then Ottawa went out made all that chatter moot by posting a 3-1 victory over the Flames on Tuesday night.

With that thought in mind, don't expect the Senators to put too much stock in their recent run of success against the Edmonton Oilers heading into their matchup at Rexall Place tonight (9:30 p.m., Sportsnet Sens, Team 1200). Ottawa is 7-1-0 in its last eight outings against the Oilers and has won four straight in the Alberta capital, including a 5-3 triumph when the teams last met there on Feb. 12.

"What happened in the past ... different teams, different players," cautioned Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, who owns a 6-3-1 lifetime record against the Oilers. "You've got to come in and be ready to go. My job is to give the team a chance to win, regardless of what city we're in."

The OIlers (9-6-2) are returning home after a six-game road trip that ended with three straight losses. But with dynamic young talent such as Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and top Calder Trophy candidate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the lineup, there's plenty to grab the Senators' (9-9-1) attention tonight.

"It doesn't matter what sweater over there you're playing against," said Anderson. "All the teams are pretty good in this league and, on any given night, you can be embarrassed by the last-place team or the first-place team. It doesn't matter where they are in the standings, any team can make you (work to) earn that victory."

Added head coach Paul MacLean: "They'll present a challenge to us. They've got pretty good team speed and we're going to have to skate tonight if we're going to have a chance."

Around the boards

No lineup changes for tonight, meaning blueliner David Rundblad will be a healthy scratch for a third straight game ... The Senators last recorded a sweep in Alberta in 2003, when Patrick Lalime blanked the Flames 1-0 and the Oilers 2-0 ... Ottawa has won two straight on its current six-game road stretch, which continues Sunday in Vancouver against the Canucks (9 p.m., Sportsnet East, Team 1200) ... Nikolai Khabibulin gets the start in goal tonight for the Oilers ... A sore back will keep Edmonton centre Sam Gagner out of tonight's contest.

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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