Vancouver (13-6-2) at Ottawa (9-7-2)

Cloudy Currently: Kanata, ON
Temp: 59° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Thu Nov 27, 2003
  • TV: SNP, SN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Ottawa Senators are hoping to build momentum after playing below expectations through the first quarter of the season.

That may not be easy to do when they host the Vancouver Canucks, owners of the best record in the Western Conference.

Coming off back-to-back losses to Toronto, Ottawa spotted Atlanta a three-goal lead Tuesday before scoring six unanswered goals in a 6-3 victory.

Defenseman Wade Redden triggered the comeback with the first of his two goals at 4:30 of the second period and Radek Bonk and Peter Schaefer each added third-period scores.

Redden has scored all six of his goals this season in the last seven games, tying him for the NHL lead among defensemen.

“To me, if we didn’t have character after falling behind 3-0, we would not prevail,” Senators coach Jacques Martin said. “Even after being down, we felt we were doing the right thing.”

Martin pulled starting goalie Martin Prusek in the second period after he gave up three goals on only six shots. Patrick Lalime shut out Atlanta the rest of the way, finishing with eight saves.

Lalime started the game on the bench after allowing a season-high six goals on 22 shots in a 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday. Prusek, however, continued to struggle and remained winless in five appearances this season.

The Senators, one of the preseason favorites to win the Stanley Cup, are just 4-5-2-1 this month.

Vancouver ended a five-game road winless streak Tuesday with a 5-2 victory over Montreal.

Captain Markus Naslund had two goals and an assist and linemate Todd Bertuzzi added a goal and two assists for the Canucks, who had been 0-3-0-2 in their previous five road games.

“We understood the importance of this game, and the importance of getting a road win,” Bertuzzi said. “We understood that we needed to get it done, and it had to get done hard tonight. We were eager and we came out strong.”

Vancouver is by far the league’s best offensive team, scoring 74 goals in 23 games. Besides having arguably the NHL’s top line with Naslund, Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison, the Canucks also are getting excellent production from center Jason King, who leads all rookies with 11 goals and 15 points.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 25): Canucks - 30 points, 1st place, Northwest Division. Senators - 22 points, 3rd place, 7 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Canucks - King, 11 goals; Naslund and Bertuzzi, 17 assists; Naslund, 27 points; Bertuzzi and Ed Jovanovski, 41 PIM. Senators - Marian Hossa, 10 goals, 14 assists and 24 points; Chris Neil, 51 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 26): Canucks - Power play: 17.4 percent (21 for 121), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.1 percent (88 for 101), 5th. Senators - Power play: 25.2 percent (26 for 103), 2nd. Penalty killing: 84.2 percent (85 for 101), 12th.

GOALTENDERS: Canucks - Dan Cloutier (9-6-1, 0 SO, 2.17 GAA); Johan Hedberg (4-2-1, 1, 2.25). Senators - Lalime (9-7-1, 1, 2.19); Prusek (0-2-1, 3.24).

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Canucks, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 8; Canucks, 6-4. At Vancouver, British Columbia, Naslund scored a pair of power-play goals and Matt Cooke had a goal and an assist to lead the Canucks.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Canucks - 4-5-1-2 on the road; Senators - 4-4-2-1 at home.

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