NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 31st (All times Eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (32-32-10) at Ottawa Senators (31-29-14), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators' current surge may be too little, too late.
Points in four straight games has kept the Sens' fading playoff hopes alive and the club will try to pick up a victory on Monday night when it hosts the Carolina Hurricanes.
Ottawa has gone 3-0-1 in its past four games following a 2-12-2 rut, and despite the recent string of success the Senators are six points out of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with eight games to play.
Carolina is two points behind Ottawa in the standings.
The Senators have scored 11 goals in winning the first two contests of a five- game homestand and used a three-goal third period on Sunday evening to beat the Calgary Flames 6-3.
Kyle Turris had a pair of goals and an assist, while Milan Michalek also scored twice in the victory. Clarke MacArthur notched a goal and a helper to support Robin Lehner's 37-save effort.
"The first and third I thought were very good. I didn't like the team that came out in the second but it's a 60-minute game and I thought the way we started the game was very good," said Ottawa coach Paul MacLean. "The way we finished it, obviously we were very pleased with how we played the third period giving up six shots and the way that we were able to put the game away was good."
Erik Karlsson recorded an assist to become the first NHL defenseman with at least 20 goals and 50 assists in the same season since Hall of Famer Brian Leetch had 21 goals and 58 assists for the New York Rangers in 2001-02
The Senators may need to keep up their scoring pace tonight as they have yielded 10 goals in losing two road games versus the Hurricanes this season.
Carolina has won six of its last seven versus Ottawa overall, but will look to rebound tonight after suffering a 3-2 overtime setback on Saturday to the Columbus Blue Jackets, current owners of the East's second wild card.
The Blue Jackets got the game-winner 2:40 into overtime just 46 seconds after the Hurricanes' Jiri Tlusty was penalized for covering the puck with his hand in the Carolina zone. The space allowed Ryan Johansen to rip a wrist shot past Anton Khudobin from the slot.
Khudobin ended with 29 saves.
Jeff Skinner and Andrei Loktionov scored for the Hurricanes, who were coming off a 3-0 win over the Panthers on Thursday. They haven't posted back-to-back wins in over two weeks.
"We talked before the game that it was going to be a 60-minute game, or 60 minutes-plus, and it was," said Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller. "I thought we played well. It was a playoff-style game."
Loktionov, acquired from New Jersey prior to the trade deadline, has three goals and three assists in his past six games and logged nearly 20 minutes of ice time on Saturday.
The Hurricanes will play two straight on the road and are set to visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. They are 15-17-4 as the guest, having won three of their last four.
03/31 10:25:18 ET