Sens seek to stay in win column vs. Oilers
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators will try to keep heading in the right direction when they host the struggling Edmonton Oilers in Saturday's clash at Canadian Tire Centre.
The Senators began the season on a six-game road trip and went 2-2-2 on that swing, earning wins in the first and last contests of the trek. Ottawa then made it two wins in a row by picking up a victory in its home opener on Thursday, downing the New Jersey Devils by a 5-2 score.
Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza each notched a goal and two assists to help Ottawa keep the Devils winless on the season. Bobby Ryan added a goal and an assist, while Milan Michalek and Zack Smith each scored once for the Senators.
Karlsson, Ryan, Spezza are off to terrific starts to this season. Spezza is leading the team in both goals (5) and points (8) through six games, while fellow forward Ryan has four goals and seven points. Karlsson is leading the club's defense with two goals and six points.
Craig Anderson backstopped the Sens' second straight victory with 40 saves and he is 3-1-2 with a 2.88 goals against average this season.
"He's a great goalie and he comes up big for us when we need him," Karlsson said of Anderson. "Obviously today he might have saved the game for us."
Backup Robin Lehner is expected to get his second start of the season today for Ottawa and first ever against Edmonton.
Next up for the Senators is Wednesday's game in Detroit, where they will face former Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson and the Red Wings.
Edmonton enters Saturday with just one win in eight games. The club has lost five in a row and the last three setbacks all came in regulation. The Oilers dropped a 3-2 decision Thursday night against the New York Islanders despite Taylor Hall scoring twice during an eight-second span in the first period.
Hall accounted for both Oilers' goals, which came a mere eight seconds apart late in the first period and handed Edmonton a 2-1 lead. The two goals were the fastest by one player in Oilers' history, breaking Wayne Gretzky's record of nine seconds set against St. Louis on Feb. 18, 1981.
However, the Oilers failed to generate much offensively the rest of the way and they let the home team score twice in the second period to take the close contest.
Despite falling to 0-4-1 on the season with another loss, goaltender Devan Dubnyk had his best showing of the campaign, finishing with 37 saves for the Oilers.
"This is where Duby takes over and starts playing like we know he can," said Hall. "It would have been nice to get a win for him."
Dubnyk expects to get the call again on Saturday. He has never started a game against Ottawa, but did see action in relief against the Senators on Nov. 17, 2011 and stopped 7-of-9 shots.
The Oilers are making the fifth stop on a six-game road trip today and will close the swing Tuesday in Montreal.
The Senators have won eight of their last 10 against the Oilers, but have lost two straight as the host in this series.
10/19 08:26:52 ET