Oilers vs. Senators Preview
OTTAWA, Ont. - The Ottawa Senators showed signs of ending their offensive funk in their last game. A matchup with the Western Conference-worst Edmonton Oilers could help them put the slump completely behind them.
The Senators look to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly three weeks when they host the Oilers on Monday night.
Among the NHL's lowest-scoring teams with 55 goals, Ottawa (11-12-1) avoided a season high-tying third straight loss and opened a four-game homestand with a 3-0 victory over Toronto on Saturday.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Senators –193 money line favorites for Sunday's game against the Oilers. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 57% of more than 1,056 bets for this game have been placed on the Senators -193.
Trends say that Edmonton is 2-12 ATS after allowing four or more goals this season.
The Senators had scored two goals or fewer in seven of eight games, but their second line of Mike Fisher, Alex Kovalev and Milan Michalek accounted for all of the scoring.
Fisher - who had one goal in his previous 11 contests - scored twice and added an assist, while Kovalev had a season-high three points. Michalek recorded a season-best two assists for Ottawa, which hasn't won two straight since a four-game run from Nov. 2-9.
"It's nice to see those guys score goals,'' said top center Jason Spezza, who has one goal in the last six games. "They've had a lot of chances lately and it's nice to see them get rewarded.''
The Senators could get a number of chances against an Oilers club that has surrendered 88 goals - easily the most in the league.
Edmonton (6-12-4), facing a NHL-high 35.1 shots per contest, is the league's worst penalty killing team at 67.4 percent. The Senators, looking for their seventh straight victory in the series, have gone 3 for 21 with the man advantage in the last nine games.
The Oilers' Devan Dubnyk has yielded nine goals while losing his last two starts, which could lead to the Senators facing former teammate Martin Gerber.
Called up from the AHL on Nov. 18 with Nikolai Khabibulin nursing a groin injury, Gerber spent two-plus seasons with Ottawa before getting sent to the minors in February 2009. He has gone 3-3-0 with a 2.83 goals-against average against Senators.
Gerber has played one game this season, beating Colorado 3-2 with 35 saves Thursday.
Whoever is in net will try to help the Oilers start their three-game eastern swing on a positive note following a 4-3 loss to San Jose on Saturday.
Trailing 4-1 in the third period, Edmonton got goals from Shawn Horcoff and Jim Vandermeer but lost for the eighth time in 10 games.
"To have a game like this where we didn't end up with a five- or six-goal deficit, where a lot of us thought this was going to go, is something to really strengthen us going into Eastern Canada," associate coach Ralph Krueger said.
The Oilers, though, have been outscored 32-12 while dropping five of six on the road. They have lost five straight road games to East foes since Dec. 9.
Coach Tom Renney's team will likely face the Senators' Brian Elliott, who snapped a personal three-game skid with 29 saves Saturday. It was his second shutout of the season.
Elliott, 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA versus the Oilers, turned away 18 shots in the teams' last matchup, a 4-1 victory in Edmonton on March 9.
The Oilers' last win over the Senators was 3-1 at home March 14, 2004.Twitter and Facebook or Subscribe to Our News Feeds!