Game 54: New York Islanders @ Ottawa Senators

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It is game #54 of the season, which means we are almost at the 2/3rds point of the season. The Ottawa Senators have lost four in a row and host the New York Islanders tonight. The Islanders have only one regulation loss in their last six, going 4-1-1 in that span. So while this is a very winnable game for Ottawa, they can't take it for granted. Not that a team on a four-game losing streak can take anything for granted.

Here are the lines for today:

Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Erik Condra
Nick Foligno - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson
Colin Greening - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Kaspars Daugavins - Zenon Konopka - Bobby Butler

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen - Sergei Gonchar
Chris Phillips - Matt Carkner

Craig Anderson (starter)
Alex Auld

More after the jump.

Here are some things to look out for tonight:

  • Score the first goal: The Senators have allowed the first goal in eight straight games. Can they fix this tonight and dominate from start to finish?
  • Spezza struggling: Jason Spezza doesn't have a point in four straight games and missed practise today. A return to form from Spezza would be very helpful.
  • Contain Tavares: John Tavares had four points in Carolina in his last game. He's had 11 goals and 15 assists for an incredible 26 points in his last 15 games. Shutting him down will be key.
  • Crowd energy: This is the first home game for the Senators since the all-star game. What kind of atmosphere will we see and hear?
  • Don't look ahead: The Senators host Toronto tomorrow night, but they simply cannot afford to look past this Islanders team, especially with the current losing streak.
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