(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will need more balanced production with
center Jason Spezza out with a herniated disc.
So far, so good.
The Senators take aim at a third straight victory on Friday as they visit the
Spezza did not play in Wednesday's 5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens and
it was announced the following day that he will undergo back surgery that will
sideline him indefinitely.
The 29-year-old had two goals and three assists in five games this season
after notching 34 goals and 84 points in 2011-12.
Without Spezza, the Sens got goals from five different players versus the
Habs. That included second-period markers from Daniel Alfredsson, Chris
Phillips and Mika Zibanejad, who scored the first goal of his NHL career.
"I try to keep myself calm after a goal, but I couldn't after this one," said
the 19-year-old Zibanejad, the sixth overall pick of the 2011 draft. He had an
assist in nine games last season and was playing in his second tilt of this
campaign after getting recalled from the AHL on Monday.
Jim O'Brien and Chris Neil added tallies for the Senators, who have points in
six of their first seven games (5-1-1). Craig Anderson continued his strong
early play, stopping 31-of-32 shots in his 300th career game.
"We're very pleased with the production we're getting from everybody," said
Sens coach Paul MacLean. "Everybody's contributing on offense as far as the
four lines. We're still getting contributions from our defense and that's
going to be important moving forward."
MacLean's offense has had its troubles scoring goals at Carolina's PNC Arena,
where Ottawa has lost eight of its past nine. The Sens have been outscored
32-13 in that span and have been held to a single goal in seven of the
The Hurricanes have won five of the past seven encounters overall and could
use a victory on Friday after falling to 2-3-0 on the campaign with a 5-3 loss
to the Boston Bruins on Monday.
Carolina rallied to tie the game at three-all after trailing by scores of 2-0
and 3-1, but Boston's David Krejci netted the game-winner with under two
minutes to play.
Eric Staal had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, who were coming off a
home-and-home sweep of Buffalo. Staal has four goals and two helpers in his
last three games.
"We did some good things, but obviously not enough to try and salvage at least
a point in this game," Staal said.
Jeff Skinner scored in his fourth straight game, with five tallies over that
time, and defenseman Jamie McBain also lit the lamp. Cam Ward made 33 saves.
Carolina begins a six-game road trip on Saturday in Philadelphia.
The Sports Network