After a brief and very mediocre 2 game home stand, the Ottawa Senators are heading out on the road for another 4 game trip, and they hope that their success on this one mirrors the last 4 game sojourn they went on.
This trip is doubly important because 3 of the 4 games are against teams that are within 2 points of the Senators in the race for the Wild Card. Sitting at 51 points, the Senators are a point back of the group of 3 teams at 52, who are all tied for the second Wild Card spot. The opening game of the trip is against Washington, who sit a point ahead of Ottawa.
After that game on Tuesday, which is not must-win but would go a long way to helping the Senators cause, they pay a visit to the surprisingly strong Tampa Bay Lightning, led by Ben Bishop and Martin St. Louis. That game is the first half of a back-to-back, as the Sens will then travel to Carolina to face the Canes, always a tough matchup. The Hurricanes currently sit 2 points behind the Senators, and by that time they could be tied, ahead or as many as 6 points behind. Either way, those are 2 points the Senators need. Fortunately, the Canes will also be traveling before that game, coming home from playing in Buffalo and will also, like the Senators, be playing their third game in 4 nights.
They get (hopefully) well-deserved 3 day break (and a brief stop at home) before ending their road trip in Columbus facing the Blue Jackets, another team that finds themselves in the mix for the final playoff spots, whether it be the Wild Card or the final Metropolitan division spaces.
The Senators new-found confidence took a hit with a poor outing on Saturday against the Rangers, but if they can regain the attitude and style that made them successful through the American mid-west against some decent Western Conference competition, they should be able to come home with 6 or 7 points in this trip as well.
The last trip pushed the Senators’ road record to 10-8-4, which is better than their home record of 11-11-5.