The Ottawa Senators look to rebound from an embarrassing effort last time out when they continue their three-game homestand Thursday against the improving Detroit Red Wings. The Senators had lost in regulation just once in 11 games to start the season before being trounced 8-3 by visiting Montreal on Monday and have won just twice in eight contests on home ice (2-2-4).
“These games happen,” Ottawa defenseman Dion Phaneuf told reporters. “You don’t like them to happen. It’s about how we respond to it. We got away from the way we’ve played for the whole year and the way we’ve had success. That’s the result.” The Red Wings, who defeated the Senators 2-1 in a shootout on Oct. 7 as they were sprinting to a 4-1-0 start, had been in a downward spiral before winning their last two games. Dylan Larkin notched an assist in a shootout triumph at Florida on Saturday that pulled Detroit out of a six-game winless streak (0-5-1) and recorded a goal while setting up another in Tuesday’s 5-3 victory over Arizona. Larkin leads the team in scoring with 12 points and Mike Green is next with 11, but the veteran defenseman has been kept off the scoresheet in four consecutive games.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, TSN5, RDS2 (Ottawa)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (6-6-1): The line of Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha has combined for three goals and four assists over the last two games, giving Detroit an exciting young unit. “They’re good friends, they hang out a lot, so it’s no surprise that they have chemistry out there on the ice,” goaltender Jimmy Howard, who has posted a .930 save percentage while starting five straight games, told reporters. Detroit’s power play still is struggling as it has converted just two of its 27 opportunities over the last nine contests and entered Wednesday ranked 26th in the league at 13.6 percent.
ABOUT THE SENATORS (5-2-5): Forward Chris DiDomenico, a 2007 sixth-round pick of Toronto, has made a case to stick around for a while after recording a pair of goals and three assists in his last three contests. No. 1 center Kyle Turris (eight points in nine games) has been practicing and could return to the lineup Thursday after missing three games due to a viral infection. Mark Stone leads the team with seven goals and 12 points (199 in his career) while two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson has collected 10 assists in seven contests but was saddled with a minus-6 rating in the loss to Montreal.
1. Ottawa G Craig Anderson has allowed at least three goals in five straight contests and 21 overall in that span but is expected to start on Thursday.
2. Detroit LW Tomas Tatar has recorded 199 career points but is mired in a five-game drought.
3. The Senators, who could be without D Mark Borowiecki (illness), have earned at least one point in five of their last six meetings with the Red Wings (2-1-3).
PREDICTION: Senators 3, Red Wings 2