The Ottawa Senators don't seem to have trouble beating anyone recently, and that could give them good momentum as they prepare to face a team they haven't defeated at home in more than eight years.
Looking to extend their franchise-record winning streak to 11 games, the Senators also will try to snap a four-game slide against the Vancouver Canucks, who continue their daunting six-week road trip Thursday night.
Ottawa (32-21-4) extended its run with a 4-2 win over Buffalo on Wednesday, pulling within three points of the Northeast Division-leading Sabres. Daniel Alfredsson broke a 2-2 tie with 60 seconds to play before adding an empty-netter.
"It is impressive," said Alfredsson, the Senators captain and longest-tenured player. "I don't think we expected this from ourselves, either."
Jason Spezza had two goals and an assist for the Senators, who haven't lost since a 6-1 defeat at Atlanta on Jan. 12 and have outscored their opponents 34-12 during the winning streak.
Alfredsson has seven goals in nine games since returning Jan. 16 following an 11-game absence due to a separated shoulder. Spezza was sidelined 20 games with a knee injury before coming back Jan. 23, and has goals in seven straight contests dating back to Dec. 12.
The victory against the Sabres is just one of several impressive wins Ottawa has put together during this streak. It's also beaten division leaders New Jersey and Chicago and defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh.
Now, the Senators will face the best from the Northwest. Vancouver (34-19-2) took both meetings last season and has won six of the last seven.
Despite a season-high 47 shots on goal Tuesday, the Canucks fell 3-2 to Montreal, snapping their seven-game winning streak. Mikael Samuelsson and Ryan Kesler scored power-play goals for Vancouver.
"Hockey is a great game and I thought that was a hard-fought game by both teams tonight," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.
The game was the second in an NHL-record 14-game road trip while GM Place gets ready to host the Olympics. The Canucks opened the swing Saturday by rallying from an early three-goal deficit to beat Toronto 5-3.
Starting with this contest, the Canucks will play six games in 10 days before the break. Henrik Sedin, who leads the league with 78 points, is looking forward to the challenge.
"This is when the fun starts, we play every second day, and we have a back-to-back at the end of the road trip so it should be good now," he told the Canucks' official Web site.
Sedin and Alex Burrows were held without a point against the Canadiens. Along with Henrik's twin Daniel, the Canucks' top line has accounted for 14 goals and 26 assists over the last eight games.
Henrik Sedin had two goals and two assists in two wins against the Senators last season. Daniel had a goal and three assists.
Vancouver hasn't lost to Ottawa since falling 2-1 on March 13, 2004. The Canucks' last road loss to the Senators was a 3-0 defeat on Nov. 20, 2001.