The preventing senators hope to repeat the sooner success in Edmonton
2021-01-31 09:48:54 GMT + 00: 00 – The Ottawa Senators are having a hard enough time keeping the puck out of their net, and it could get tougher if they opt for a street fight against the Edmonton Oilers start on Sunday evening.
Ottawa’s top defender Thomas Chabot is on the list after falling into the net in the Vancouver loss on Thursday. Chabot will do what he can, but Artem Zub will make his NHL debut when he can’t. The senators also have to do without defender Christian Wolanin.
“We’ll see how he is doing on (Sunday) morning,” said Senators coach DJ Smith after Saturday’s practice session. “We hope he can, but if he can’t, Zub will do the work for us.”
The Oilers and Senators will also meet on Tuesday.
The Senators were already in Edmonton watching the Oilers take a 4-3 overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs to catch a skid they lost two games. Ottawa, which is undergoing a complete makeover, has lost seven straight (0-6-1) to a combined 33-12 with a home win against the Maple Leafs since the start of the season. The Senators come from a three-game man-handling in the hands of the Vancouver Canucks, who they jointly beat with a 16-3 lead in the trio of stakes.
“We don’t put pucks away and it’s hard to win games if you don’t score, but I think we’re slowly learning the kind of identity we need to have,” said forward Connor Brown. “We get a lot of opportunities, a lot of shots on goal, a lot of time in the ozone zone. We have to hold on and be patient and we will get the rebound.”
For what it’s worth, the Senators have won six straight games in Edmonton and six out of eight clashes with the Oilers.
Still, the Oilers have an important win behind them. They took a 3-1 lead, but won thanks to Connor McDavid’s second goal of the game in extra time. McDavid has scored multiple points in four consecutive games, including another coast-to-coast highlight reel goal.
“Oh man, that’s exactly what he’s doing. Incredible. I think it’s the second time this year that everyone has just been in awe after doing something,” said defense attorney Tyson Barrie.
The Oilers have struggled to build a winning streak this season, but if they get an important win and face a battered Senators team, they have the opportunity to cobble together a winning streak and they know it.
“We needed one of those games to work in our favor,” said coach Dave Tippett. “We looked into it but there was a mistake here or there or finding ways to lose instead of finding ways to win. Hopefully it’s a step in the right direction.”
“Hopefully it’s a turning point for us and we can move on,” added Barrie. “We have to find a way to string some of them together. It’s a quick turnaround and hopefully we can make it to Ottawa.”
The Oilers paid a price for victory as defenseman Ethan Bear left the game and did not return. As it’s the second half of games on consecutive nights, it’s possible the Oilers could use Troy Grosenick instead of Mikko Koskinen, who played all 10 games for Edmonton earlier this season. Tippett wouldn’t show his hand in relation to his starting goalkeeper for the game, however.
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