For the second straight game, the Ottawa Senators will be facing an opponent playing the second half of a back-..."/> For the second straight game, the Ottawa Senators will be facing an opponent playing the second half of a back-..."/>

Carolina Hurricanes @ Ottawa Senators : Gameday Preview

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For the second straight game, the Ottawa Senators will be facing an opponent playing the second half of a back-to-back regular season leg. The Carolina Hurricanes come to town after being shut out at home against Vancouver, 3-0. The Ottawa Senators are coming off a big win over their division rival, the Montreal Canadiens, on Thursday. Hopes of making the playoffs are slim but still alive for the Ottawa Senators and they won’t get many chances playing against teams behind them in the standings.

                                                                         

                                                                         Ottawa (18-17-8)                                                                            Carolina (14-25-5)

                                                                               7:00PM EST
Canadian Tire Center
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
TV: CityTV, TVA-2   Radio: TSN1200

Matchup History
Saturday night marks the first time these two teams play each this season. We have to go back to March 31st, 2014 the last time the Hurricanes and Senators last played each other. March 31st saw the Ottawa Senators squeak a narrow victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, Ottawa ended up winning 2-1. Over the last eight games between the two teams, the Carolina Hurricanes have won six out of the eight contests. Which may worry a few Ottawa Senators fans. Just another reason not to take any team in the league lightly, regardless of their position in the standings.

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Players To Watch

Carolina Hurricanes: Justin Faulk – Defencemen
With the Carolina Hurricanes struggling to stay out of the bottom of the league, it’s hard to find bright spots within the team. One bright spot though is the defensive play of their young All-Star, Justin Faulk. Just 22 years old, the St.Paul, Minnesota native has been voted by the fans to this year’s NHL All-Star game. With 24 points in 44 games, the Carolina Hurricanes defencemen is on pace to break some young career point totals. Often overlooked in conversation as one of the best young guns in the league, due to the fact that the Carolina Hurricanes have been struggling mightily, the Carolina franchise have someone special in Justin Faulk. A player to keep on eye on not just in today’s game but in the future in this league.

Ottawa Senators : Mike Hoffman – Forward
Speaking about young guns, the Ottawa Senators have a young gun themselves on their roster. The ever so fast, Mike Hoffman has been an absolute treat to watch this season. Leading the team in goals (15) and plus/minus (+19) is a big surprise to all Ottawa Senators fans. When you’re watching this team, Mike Hoffman automatically jumps off the screen as one of the fastest skaters in the league. It’s not hard to spot him on the ice but don’t look away either because you might miss a glimmer of magic when Mike Hoffman has the puck on his stick.

Three Keys To The Game

Carolina’s Fatigue : Back-to-back games are hard on the body for any NHL’er. It’s a battle against yourself pushing your body to the limit, especially in today’s fast pace brand of hockey. Carolina are going to have to battle this fight Saturday night after losing on Friday night at home. The Hurricanes are going to have  to be sharp mentally more than anything. We witnessed on Thursday against Montreal, just how much of an extra bounce Ottawa had against Montreal. Will we see the same thing tonight?

Carolina’s Goaltending Situation: Friday night was not a good one for the Hurricanes. Cam Ward the Hurricanes long-time goalie was pulled out of action Friday after allowing three goals in the second period. Anton Khudobin came in for relief. Playing a full period within a 24 hour span may provide an inside edge for the Ottawa Senators. Something to look out for in tonight’s game.

The Extra Man: Ottawa’s power play has found its some life over the past three games. Scoring 4 out of the 12 chances with the extra man will sit ok with me. The Ottawa Senators saw themselves scoreless on the PP the last 8 games before they got the ball rolling in Arizona again. The Senators need to continue to push the play with the extra man, especially with a possible tired group of Hurricane players.