Game 61: Ottawa Senators @ New York Islanders

It's a long weekend and it's Sens hockey! The Ottawa Senators will look to finish their road trip with a perfect 3-0 record when they visit the New York Islanders this afternoon. The Senators had four days off but still are five points clear of the Washington Capitals. The games in hand have also narrowed, with Toronto and Pittsburgh only having the one game in hand while New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington have played two less games than Ottawa. Winnipeg has closed to four points, but Ottawa actually has a game in hand on them.

Back to today's game, the Senators will roll with the same lineup. Craig Anderson starts and Zenon Konopka and Matt Carkner are healthy scratches again. Amazingly, the Senators haven't lost a regulation game with Brian Lee in the lineup since 27 December, going 9-0-1 in that span.

Here are the lines from Sylvain St-Laurent:

Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Bobby Butler
Colin Greening - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson
Kaspars Daugavins - Zack Smith - Erik Condra
Nick Foligno - Jim O'Brien - Chris Neil

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips - Sergei Gonchar
Jared Cowen - Brian Lee

Craig Anderson (starter)
Alex Auld

More after the jump.

Here are some things to look for tonight:

  • Spezza and Karlsson streaking: Jason Spezza has had at least two points in every game during the current 3-0-1 run, totalling 12 points in those four games. Erik Karlsson is also doing well, though to a lesser degree, with five points in four games.
  • Lack of secondary scoring: The big guns are carrying Ottawa, but Kyle Turris has just one point in his last 11 games. Chris Neil and Colin Greening don't have a point in seven straight games, Zack Smith has two points in 19 games and Erik Condra has three points in 17 games. It's not pretty.
  • Another big game in the standings: The Senators play the Islanders in the afternoon while the Capitals play the Hurricanes later today. Ottawa's lead on Washington could be anywhere between 3 and 7 points by the end of the day.
  • Scoring first: Remember how Ottawa couldn't score the first goal? Well, now they have done it for four straight games. Can they make it five in a row?
  • Fresh or rusty: The Senators had been in a good run, winning their last two games by a combined score of 10-2. They had four days off afterwards though. Will they be refreshed or missing a step, especially with an early start.
  • Will I wake up for this game: Alarm will be set. Let's see though.

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