The Ottawa Senators are in the midst of a freefall that has seen them lose their once-solid grip on a playoff spot. Now they’ll continue their road trip in a place that has not been kind to them.
The Senators look to snap their five-game losing streak when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.
Following a home loss to Toronto, Ottawa has dropped the first four games of its seven-game trip, including a 3-2 defeat to Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. The Senators are two points ahead of ninth-place Winnipeg in the Eastern Conference.
“We’re not concerned about playoff spots,” goalie Craig Anderson said. “We’re concerned about doing things right and coming to the rink, getting better. At the end of the day, we control what we can control, and that’s how we play and how we come to work. The standings, wins, they’ll all take care of themselves.”
Ottawa has won only three times in 11 trips to Philadelphia. The most recent was a 2-1 loss March 2 when the Senators failed to score on five power-play opportunities.
Offense has continued to be an issue for Ottawa (19-14-6). Guillaume Latendresse’s power-play goal Tuesday was the team’s first in 21 chances during the losing streak, and the Senators rank in the bottom five of the league with 96 goals overall.
“There’s nothing real positive about it at all,” coach Paul MacLean said. “We haven’t won a game in it seems like forever. The league is hard, winning is hard to do. And we haven’t played hard enough in the last five games to produce more than what we say is good opportunities.
“We need to do more. Not a whole lot more, but we need to do a little bit more.”
The Senators might catch a break against a Flyers team that’s struggling as well as they attempt to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time in six years.
Philadelphia (17-19-3) has lost 4-1 in back-to-back games, falling to the surging New York Islanders on Tuesday. The Flyers had won four in a row, but the two losses since have left them 12th in the East.
“We still have nine games to play,” forward Simon Gagne said. “All we can do is to keep trying our best.”
This is the only home game in a seven-game stretch for the Flyers, who are 12-5-2 at home and have won three straight there while scoring five goals in each of the last two.
Jakub Voracek has been one of the bright spots for Philadelphia with three goals and an assist in his last four games. He scored against the Islanders and leads the Flyers with 17 goals.
Voracek, who scored against the Senators last month, needs one goal to tie his career high of 18 set last season.