Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Saturday, December 12th
Game 2: Sunday, January 10th
Game 3: Thursday, March 4th
Game 4: Thursday, April 1st

Senators 1

(22-20-4, 48 pts)

Hurricanes 4

(13-24-7, 33 pts)

5:00 PM ET, January 10, 2010

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 T
OTT 0 1 01
CAR 0 2 24

C. Ward (Hurricanes - G): Saves: 31, Save Pct.: .969

R. Whitney (Hurricanes - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

T. Kostopoulos (Hurricanes - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Senators-Hurricanes Preview


The Ottawa Senators have one of the worst road records in the NHL, and entering a five-game trip with a slew of injuries, a struggling power play and goaltending woes will be tough to overcome.

Visiting the league-worst Carolina Hurricanes could help them overcome those obstacles.

The Senators aim to end a three-game overall slide Sunday when they face the Hurricanes.

Ottawa (22-19-4) is 6-11-1 on the road, ranking only better than Carolina's 3-14-4 mark. The Senators have dropped 11 of their last 14 away from home, and they didn't look much better in a 3-0 loss to Florida at home Saturday.

Part of Ottawa's struggles are due to a rash of injuries that include right wing Daniel Alfredsson (shoulder), center Jason Spezza (knee) and left wing Milan Michalek (upper body). The three players have combined for 30 goals and 42 assists with Michalek leading the team with 16 goals.

The Senators added more to the injured list Saturday. Defenseman Filip Kuba left early in the third period with an upper-body injury and right wing Jesse Winchester exited with what appears to be a right knee injury suffered in a collision with the Panthers' Keith Ballard.

Their availability for Sunday is unknown, putting Ottawa in danger of matching its season-high four-game slide from Nov. 28-Dec. 5.

"We can't feel sorry for ourselves, nobody's going to," coach Cory Clouston said. "We've got to keep working hard and I thought our guys battled and obviously we're missing some offense, but we've got to somehow find it. It's not the way you want to go on a long road trip that's for sure."

One area the Senators need to shore up is the power play, where they're 2 for 45 over the last 13 games and tied with Pittsburgh for last in the NHL with a 14.7 success rate overall.

"Obviously, the power play is a big concern," Clouston said. "There's some different guys out there with the injuries that we have and somehow we have to manufacture some offense."

Ottawa is also struggling in net, where Brian Elliott is 1-4-0 with a 3.90 goals-against average in his last six games -- four starts. Elliott, who's been pulled twice in that stretch, turned in another poor effort Saturday, making 16 saves with two of the three goals allowed coming directly from his mistakes.

Pascal Leclaire has also struggled, getting chased in one of his last five games -- four starts -- while going 1-2-0 with a 3.29 GAA.

Both netminders have enjoyed success against the Hurricanes. Leclaire has split two meetings with a 1.51 GAA while Elliott is 2-1-0 with a 1.68 GAA in three games, including a 23-save performance in a 4-2 home win on Dec. 12.

Ottawa has dropped its last three visits to Carolina, getting outscored 9-3.

The Hurricanes (12-24-7) will try to continue that success as they attempt to build on a 2-1 win over Colorado on Friday that snapped a four-game home losing streak.

Unlike the Senators, Carolina has a clear No. 1 goaltender in Cam Ward, who will likely get a 12th consecutive start.

Ward made 29 saves Friday and appeared headed toward his first shutout of the season before giving up a goal to Brandon Yip with 16 seconds left. He's 5-5-1 with a 2.90 GAA in his last 11 games but has won three of his last five with a 2.19 GAA.

"You want to go out there, you want to try to give your team a chance to win each and every night," said Ward, who missed 13 games earlier this season with a leg laceration. "I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable -- I've got more of a smile on my face, and having some fun out there."

Ward is 2-1-0 with a 2.67 GAA in three home meetings with Ottawa.