Ottawa, which leads the NHL with 235 goals and is averaging 3.3 per game, may be feeling the strain of 10 straight days away from home. The Senators managed a season-low 13 shots in a 3-1 loss to Edmonton on Sunday to drop to 2-2 on the trip.
“We played pretty good in the first, but we knew we didn’t have the energy we had last night,” said Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson, referring to his club’s 3-1 win in Vancouver on Saturday. “They played more desperately than us. For a tired hockey club, you’ve got to keep it more simple than we did.”
Martin Havlat scored the lone goal—his 28th of the season—for the Senators, who are fourth in the Eastern Conference with 90 points. They are tied with Toronto for second in the Northeast Division, one point behind Boston.
Ottawa has won just four of its last 10 games (4-5-1).
“We have a lot of big games left,” said goaltender Patrick Lalime, who replaced injured Martin Prusek (back spasms) at the start of the third period. “Everybody is battling for their own reasons. We’re in the big race for first in the conference. Every game is a big game down the stretch.”
Lalime should be back in goal for this game, while Alfredsson will be a game-time decision because of a bruised quadriceps.
Unbeaten in its last five (2-0-3), Minnesota will be trying to even the all-time series with Ottawa, which leads 2-1-1. The Wild shut out the Senators last season in Ottawa but have a tie and overtime loss at home.
Right wing Alexander Daigle scored the game-winner and added an assist in Minnesota’s 3-2 victory over Columbus on Sunday. Daigle has 14 goals his most since scoring 26 with Ottawa in 1996-97.
Left wing Andrew Brunette, who leads Minnesota with 43 points, had an assist Sunday to extend his point streak to four games, and goalie Manny Fernandez made 19 saves to record consecutive wins for the first time since Dec. 9 and 13.
The Wild are 11 points out of the final playoff berth in the Western Conference with 11 games to play.