Final SO

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Ottawa leads 1-0

Game 1: Tuesday, October 11th

Wild 3

(1-1-1, 3 pts)

Senators 4

(1-2-0, 2 pts)

Coverage: TSN

7:30 PM ET, October 11, 2011

Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 SO T
MIN 2 0 1 03
OTT 0 1 2 14

N. Backstrom (Wild - G): Saves: 41, Save Pct.: .932

C. Neil (Senators - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

D. Alfredsson (Senators - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Wild-Senators Preview


Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean is tired of seeing his team struggle out of the gate.

Playing in front of the home crowd for the first time this season could provide Ottawa with the boost it's been lacking.

The Senators hope to get off to a quick start when they face the Minnesota Wild in Tuesday night's home opener.

After failing to score in the first two periods of Friday's 5-3 defeat at Detroit, Ottawa (0-2-0) was again shut out over the first 40 minutes before its second straight third-period rally fell short during Saturday's 6-5 loss at Toronto.

Daniel Alfredsson scored twice and defenseman Erik Karlsson notched a career high-tying three assists.

"I'd rather talk about the second period and the first period when we didn't play rather than the third-period comeback, I'm tired of talking about that already," MacLean said. "...We get a goal scored against us and then we stop playing. We resort to old habits and not playing together as a group and not competing as a team together.

"That doesn't work in this league. You have to play with structure and you have to play with work ethic."

The Senators lead the NHL with eight third-period goals -- an effort MacLean wants to see his team bring from the very start.

"(In the third period) we play with speed, we attack the net, we make the opposition defend their net. That's the way we want to play, that's the way we want to be," he said.

"When we do that, obviously we can have success ... we have to come and make sure that we work until we get the game going the way that we want it to go."

A matchup against Minnesota (1-1-0) could help Ottawa get back on track. The Senators have outscored the Wild 23-9 during a five-game winning streak in this series.

Minnesota, which defeated Columbus 4-2 in Saturday's season opener, failed to generate the same kind of offense during Monday's 2-1 road loss to the New York Islanders.

The Wild were without right wing Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who began serving his two-game suspension for high-sticking the Blue Jackets' Matt Calvert in the face. Bouchard is eligible to return Thursday against Edmonton.

"Whatever we face, whether its (Bouchard's suspension) or an afternoon game, we gotta find a way, we have to know what our game is and what we have to bring to the table," coach Mike Yeo said.

"Regardless of who's in the lineup, who's out of the lineup, we have capable guys doing it. We have to know what that recipe is and we have to be ready to bring it right from the drop of the puck."

Matt Cullen scored for the second time in as many games but Minnesota went 0 for 7 on the power play. The Wild are 1 for 38 with the man advantage over their last nine road games dating to last season, during which they have gone 2-7-0.

Minnesota, however, could catch a break versus the Senators, who rank last in the league with a 5.50 goals-against average.

Craig Anderson is 2-6-2 with a 3.01 GAA lifetime versus the Wild. Alex Auld has, in contrast, gone 7-2-1 with 1.62 GAA against them -- his second-lowest mark versus any team.

Yeo could give backup goalie Josh Harding the start, which would be his first since March 26, 2010. Harding missed all of last season after tearing ligaments in his left knee during a preseason game.