Game 3 of The Senators long 6 game road trip will begin in L.A. Wednesday night as The Senators take on The Kings. The Senators managed to grab 3 of 4 possible pts to start the year close to home as they took on Buffalo followed by Toronto while The Kings managed just 1 victory in their first 3 games. Both of these teams are coming off losses (Ottawa in a S.O.) and will be looking at this game to bounce back.
4th ATLANTIC DIVISION
6th PACIFIC DIVISION
TV: SPORTSNET E
LAST MATCH UP:
Jonathan quick backstopped The Kings to a 4-1 victory over The Sens the last time these two teams hooked up on January 23 2012 @ Staples Center. The lone Senators goal was provided by former Senator, Daniel Alfredsson and assisted by former Senator Sregei Gonchar. The only current Sens player to record a point that game is Erik Karlsson, who tallied the other assist on the only goal. The Senators have not fared well against The Kings all-time with a record of (7-16-2).
The Ottawa Senators blew a 4-2 second period lead, losing 5-4 in a shoot out to The Toronto Maple Leafs, in their home opener at The Air Canada Center. Maple Leaf’s forward Mason Raymond scored a controversial “spin-o-rama” goal in the shoot out and appeared to come to a complete stop. Senators coach Paul Maclean is still disspleased with the goal: “I think it’s an unfair play for the goaltender for the guy to come in and blow snow on him but, I’m only a fisherman from Novia Scotia, so I don’t know nothin about nothin.” Maclean said in a media scrum after the game Saturday night. The Senators were also handed 14 penalty minutes compared to The Leafs 4.
The L.A. Kings are still looking to find their game as they dropped their last 2 contests without recording a point. The New York Rangers defeated the Kings at Staples Center on Monday evening by final a score of 3-1. The typically defensive stellar, L.A. Kings committed 17 giveaways in the contest, to the extreme displeasure of Head Coach Darryl Sutter: “I think there’s execution issues, obviously, when players have the puck on their stick and give it to the other team,” explained Sutter after the loss. The Kings lone goal came from defensman Jake Muzzin who was not off the hook either in Sutter’s book: “And Muzzin, he’s going to have to learn to not turn the puck over if he want’s to play, period.” Both teams will be looking to return to the Win column this evening.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Kyle Turris OTT, Turris has been Ottawa’s best player through the first 2 games of the season, already recording 4pts (1G-3A). Turris has also been the most defensively responsible Senator at +/-, +4 in the 2 games played this season.
Jeff Carter LAK, Carter is also off to a hot start scoring 2 goals and recording 12 shots on target through the Kings opening 3 games of the season. Carter and the rest of The Kings would certainly like to better defensively, Carter currently holds the teams 3rd worst +/- totals at -3.
TOP 3 STORYLINES:
Hot or not? The temperature in California is certainly hotter than Senators winger Bobby Ryan‘s start with his new club. Ryan has just 1 assist with his new linemates Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek through 2 games. Ryan will be the focal point in this game as he is no stranger to the Kings. As a member of The Anaheim Ducks Ryan faced their California rivals, The L.A. Kings many times and also recorded his first NHL goal against The Kings. There seems to be some sense of panic already in The Nation’s Capitol as many have labeled this top line as potentially the NHL’s best, though the line has underwhelmed thus far; Ryan suggested that a slow start is nothing new for him: “I don’t know what it is but I don’t think i’ve had many years where I’ve come out of the gate.” The top line in Ottawa will continue to be a hot topic going into games until they can meet the expectations placed on them.
2nd is best: The Senators “top line” has not been the first line, but in fact the 2nd offensive line on the team featuring Kyle Turris, Clarke MacArthur and Cory Conacher. This line has the city of Ottawa buzzing as they have shown more chemistry in 2 games, then a full season of Breaking Bad. Hitting the line with speed and creating chances of the rush have contributed to early season success for the 2nd line that has already recorded 7pts (2G,5A,+5)this season. Picking up right where they left off will be key to success against an LA team that will now have to focus on shutting them down as well as the 1st line.
Lights,camera, action: The battle between the pipes will take centre stage as the two top contenders for Team USA square off. Of course unless either Ottawa or L.A. or even both decide to start their back-ups which is entirely possible as both Craig Anderson and Jonathan Quick are fresh of losses. Anderson won an unforgettable showdown with the other likely US goaltending candidate, Ryan Miller against The Sabres to open the season with a 1-0 shut-out. This could be round 2 for Anderson against Quick, who let in a an awful goal from 165 feet away recently against The Rangers. Quick accidentally deflected a clearing attempt in, losing his stick in the process. The goal created some tension with the home town crowd after Quick was widely applauded for making the next “long shot” save and decided to acknowledge the crowd right back by waving to them. Although both goalies would have preferred better starts they are still very well considered two of the leagues best and if they get the call this could very well be the big story.
The Senators may be guilty of enjoying the sun a little too much in L.A. The Sens have posted an ugly (7-16-2) record vs The Kings all time and in their last 5 games at Staples Center vs The Kings the Sens are an even uglier (0-4-1) dating way back to 2002. From the opposite perspective the Kings will try to avoid losing their second consecutive home game at Staples Center, The Kings had the most impressive record on home ice in the league last season at (19-4-1). The Senators hope to come away with more than just a sun tan as 2 points are up for grabs and just as important early in the season as late.