Now, they’re just trying to avoid extending their slide at Scotiabank Place.
The Senators attempt to re-establish their home success against the Hurricanes and snap a three-game losing streak there Sunday.
Ottawa (10-10-2) put together a season-high six-game winning streak last month that included a 3-2 shootout victory over Carolina (8-12-4) on Oct. 25.
The Senators are 3-5-2 since and have dropped all three home games. Despite that slide, Ottawa is 5-4-1 at Scotiabank Place, and will be playing there for the only time in a 10-game span.
The Senators concluded a 3-2-1 trip with a 6-3 loss at Pittsburgh on Friday. Kaspars Daugavins(notes) scored 1:19 into the game, but Craig Anderson(notes) gave up four goals on eight shots in the ensuing 7:52.
“I think the game was lost in the first five minutes by not being prepared to play,” coach Paul MacLean said. “That’s my responsibility to make sure the team is ready to play.”
Spezza has an eight-game home point streak against the Hurricanes, totaling four goals and nine assists while leading the Senators to wins in seven of those matchups.
A shoulder injury sidelined him for the latest home meeting with Carolina on Dec. 29, 2010. Ward led the Hurricanes to a 4-0 victory in that game with 37 saves.
Ward figures to get a fifth consecutive start overall with wins in three of his last four against Ottawa. He has a 1.47 goals-against average during those games.
He’s 2-1-1 with a 2.22 GAA in the past four contests, but his 27 saves weren’t enough in Friday’s 3-1 loss to Winnipeg. That defeat came two days after Carolina squandered a two-goal lead in a 4-3 shootout loss to Montreal.
Leading scorer Jeff Skinner(notes) is trying to avoid going three consecutive games without a point for the first time since Feb. 19-25. He leads the Hurricanes with nine goals and 21 points, with one tally coming against the Senators last month. However, he hasn’t scored in two visits to Ottawa and has just one goal in the last five road games.
Some production from Eric Staal(notes) would be a welcome change. The Carolina captain has one goal in 18 games after scoring three times in the previous five. He’s a league-worst minus-17 this season.