The Ottawa Senators are in the midst of their first winning stretch of the season. However, they won’t have one of their top players available while trying to keep it going at a place where they have not won in almost four years.
Looking for a third consecutive victory, the Senators will be without star forward Daniel Alfredsson(notes) on Tuesday night when they hope to avoid an eighth straight road loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Ottawa lost five of its first six before posting back-to-back victories. Alfredsson has scored one of his three goals over the last two games but won’t play Tuesday to rest a nagging hip pointer injury.
“If I take a few days off here, I should be back to normal and play Thursday (against Florida),” Alfredsson told the Senators’ official website.
Without Alfredsson, the Senators (3-5-0) might have an even tougher time trying to win in Raleigh for the first time since Dec. 12, 2007. Ottawa has been outscored 28-9 during the seven-game skid there.
The Senators, however, should have some momentum after they scored twice in the final minute to beat Columbus 4-3 on Saturday. Jason Spezza(notes) tied it at the 19:24 mark and Milan Michalek(notes) netted the winner with 4.7 seconds left.
“It seems like we’re playing better and better and finally we’re starting to pick up some wins,” Gonchar said.
Michalek, among the NHL leaders with six goals, has been held without a point in three games at Carolina.
Spezza, who has three goals and four assists in the last three games, has scored seven times and added 10 assists in 15 road contests against the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes have been a streaky club, losing three straight out of the gate then winning three in a row before dropping the last two. Carolina (3-3-2) lost 5-3 to Winnipeg on Saturday to conclude a 2-1-1 trip.
“We’ve played six of our eight games on the road,” coach Paul Maurice said. “We’ve played some good teams. I don’t like (Saturday’s) game. It taints the mood. But overall I’ve been happy with our start.”
“We just have to focus,” forward Jiri Tlusty(notes) told the Hurricanes’ official website. “If the team sticks together and does all the things we plan to do, we’re going to be a strong team to play against (Tuesday) night.”
Skinner, who has three goals and six assists, had just two assists in four games versus Ottawa during his stellar 2010-11 rookie season.