Game Day - New York Islanders @ Ottawa Senators

Sunday,  February 26th, 2012

5:00 pm

Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200

T-12th East (26-27-8) @ 7th East (32-23-8)

Meeting for the second time in less than a week and the third time this month, both the Ottawa Senators and the New York Islanders square off in desperate need of a win.  The Islanders sit only 8 points out of a playoff spot, and they need to win almost every game to keep their slim post-season hopes alive.  The Senators are in a much better situation standings-wise, but with another tough matchup with the Bruins on the horizon, they don’t want to go on another extended losing streak, Anderson or no Anderson.

After a shaky period from Alex Auld, and with 3 games in 4 days, I anticipate that they will probably go with Robin Lehner against the Islanders.  The Isles are coming off a SO win against the conference leading Rangers on Friday night, while Ottawa will have a quick turnaround taking to the ice 19 hours after leaving the ice against the Bruins.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Evgeni Nabokov, G, (NYI) - Missed last Monday’s Isles loss to the Senators with the flu, but was in the net against the Rangers on Friday.  Nabokov is a career 4-3 against the Senators, and won his only game played against Ottawa this season.

Daniel Alfredsson, C, (NYI) – The Captain found his spot on Saturday, and his pair of carbon copy goals against the Bruins show that when he is playing with the right players, he is still a force.  Has now scored 20 or more goals in 13 of his 16 NHL seasons.

 

3 KEYS TO A SENATORS VICTORY

1. Quick Start – The Senators had a 2-0 lead before most fans had taken their seats after the National Anthems on Monday against the Islanders, and they cruised to victory.  They have actually been solid starters lately, and if they can continue this trend they should be in good shape and allow Lehner (assuming he gets the start) to get comfortable and confident that he will get the goal support.

2.  Kyle Turris – If he had done anything at all in February, the Senators would be in better shape.  He has but 1 assist in 10 games since the calender turned from January, and he needs to produce to take the pressure off Spezza.  (THIS IS A RECORDING)

3.  Shut down Tavares/Moulson/Parenteau – The Senators did a good job of shutting down one of the better young lines in the league last week, and if they can do so again a win is likely.  This task should prove easier at home with last change, so Paul MacLean can get the matchup he wants against them.

Check back after the game for a full recap.

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