Series (Game 1 of 1)

Ottawa leads 1-0

Game 1: Saturday, December 19th

Wild 1

(17-15-3, 37 pts)

Senators 4

(18-13-4, 40 pts)

Coverage: CBC

7:00 PM ET, December 19, 2009

Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 T
MIN 0 0 11
OTT 1 2 14

M. Brodeur (Senators - G): Saves: 22, Save Pct.: .957

A. Volchenkov (Senators - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

J. Ruutu (Senators - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Wild-Senators Preview


It seems the only thing that could derail the surging Minnesota Wild would be to physically stop them from taking the ice.

The Wild hope a fire in a van containing their equipment won't do so as they try for a third straight victory Saturday night on the road against the Ottawa Senators.

This contest will be played as scheduled after a fire broke out in a Minnesota van Friday while the team practiced in Ottawa.

"There was a fire in an equipment van in the parking lot at Scotiabank Place (Friday) afternoon. No one was injured, but some of the Minnesota Wild's hockey equipment was damaged," the team said in a statement.

The team stated that equipment manager Brent Proulx and two assistants were scheduled to return to Minnesota via plane to retrieve new equipment that was expected to be flown back to Ottawa on Saturday morning. The club also said goaltender Niklas Backstrom's equipment was destroyed.

"I've never heard of anything like this in my life," Wild winger Martin Havlat told the Ottawa Sun. "When I first heard about it, I thought it was some kind of a joke."

The Wild (17-14-3) hope everything gets sorted out so they can focus on continuing their most successful run of the season. Minnesota improved to 10-2-1 since losing four in a row with a 3-1 win at Montreal on Thursday.

Mikko Koivu scored his first goal in seven games and Backstrom made 30 saves as the Wild won for the third time in four games away from home.

Tied with Andrew Brunette for the team lead with 10 goals, Koivu has three points in his last two games but one goal in three career games versus the Senators.

Backstrom hopes his new equipment will be as good to him as the stuff he had been using before the fire. The Wild starter is 15-10-3 with a 2.39 goals-against average this season and has allowed three goals on 98 shots while winning a career-high four in a row.

Backstrom gave up three goals on 19 shots in his only appearance against Ottawa, a 5-3 home loss on Feb. 14.

Though the Wild are 7-3-2 on the road since losing their first eight away from home, they've dropped three in a row overall to the Senators. Minnesota lost 5-3 in its last visit to Ottawa on Nov. 20, 2006.

The Senators (17-13-4) look to bounce back from a 4-2 loss at New Jersey on Friday. Alexandre Picard and Jarkko Ruutu each scored as Ottawa fell to 4-3-0 since losing a season-high four in a row.

Ottawa was playing its second game without star Jason Spezza, who is expected to miss six to eight weeks because of a right knee injury.

Daniel Alfredsson, the team leader with 30 points, was held without one Friday but has two goals and three assists in his last three games against Minnesota.

With Ottawa starting goaltender Pascal Leclaire still about a week away from returning from a fractured cheekbone, Brian Elliott will likely make his 15th straight start after making 18 saves against the Devils.

Elliott is 9-8-3 with a 2.70 GAA this season. He was pulled after giving up three goals on 12 shots in the February win over Minnesota.