Edmonton (26-18-6) at Ottawa (35-14-1)

Cloudy Currently: Kanata, ON
Temp: 61° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Thu Feb 13, 2003
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OTTAWA (TICKER) —The Ottawa Senators can become the first team in the NHL to reach 80 points Thursday night as they host the Edmonton Oilers.

Ottawa’s 78 points are one points behind the idle Dallas Stars in the race for the best overall record. The Senators’ 35 wins are tied with the New Jersey Devils for tops in the NHL. Ottawa is one point ahead of New Jersey for first place in the Eastern Conference, but the Devils enter Thursday with a game in hand.

Ottawa is unbeaten in its last four games and 13-6-2 in its last 21 contests.

On Wednesday, the Senators posted a 3-0 road victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins as Patrick Lalime returned from a virus and made 20 saves against his former team en route to his sixth shutout of the season.

All-Star Marian Hossa scored for the second straight game after missing the previous two with the flu and going five contests without a goal. Hossa’s 35 goals are a career high and two behind Vancouver’s Markus Naslund for the league lead.

Edmonton opened its five-game road trip Tuesday with a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ethan Moreau, Marty Reasoner and Anson Carter scored during the first 33 minutes to give the Oilers a 3-0 lead.

Defenseman Eric Brewer and Shawn Horcoff also tallied as Edmonton to improve to 3-1-2 in its last six road games and 9-5-2-1 in its last 17 contests.

However, Tuesday’s win was very costly. Defenseman Jason Smith and left wing Ryan Smyth will be sidelined indefintely due to shoulder injuries.

Smith, the Oilers’ captain is out with a third-degree separation of his right shoulder. He is one of just two players to appear in every game for Edmonton this season and has collected four goals and four assists.

Smyth is out with a bruised left shoulder following a hard check by Toronto defenseman Robert Svehla in the second period. Smyth also missed six games recently with a sprained left shoulder.

In the first meeting between the teams, Ottawa snapped a 13-game winless streak in the series with a 2-0 win in Edmonton on January 11 as Lalime stopped 20 shots.

Edmonton is 12-3-3 all time vs. the Senators and has not lost in Ottawa since January 18, 1994.

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