|OTT||0||0||1||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|VAN||0||1||0||1||(0 - 0)||2|
The Ottawa Senators have swept two games in Alberta for the first time since 2003. It's been almost that long since they won in Vancouver.
The Senators look for a fourth straight win Sunday night when they try to reverse their recent woes against the Canucks.
Ottawa (10-9-1) has been streaky all season, with runs of six straight wins and five consecutive losses prior to the current upswing. After opening their six-game trip with a loss in Buffalo, the Senators have outscored foes 13-5 over the last three games.
Wins over Calgary on Tuesday and Edmonton on Thursday marked the first time since 2003 that Ottawa swept both games in Alberta on the same trip.
"I've been around for a long time and it is not too often we have won both games in Alberta," said captain Daniel Alfredsson, who is in his 16th season with the club.
The Senators have dropped their last four visits to Vancouver (9-9-1) since a 2-1 victory March 13, 2004, and have lost nine of the last 11 meetings between the teams overall, but they enter this matchup brimming with confidence thanks to their recent play.
"We had a tough start to the season and we have come a long ways since," Alfredsson said. "We know where we want to be and that's what the season is for, to build and learn and get better. We are giving ourselves chances right now."
Vancouver has had plenty of time to prepare for this game since Wednesday's 5-1 home loss to Chicago. Ryan Kesler skipped Thursday's practice due to a shoulder injury suffered in the defeat, but should play Sunday.
The Canucks lead the league on the power play at 26.7 percent, but coach Alain Vigneault is concerned about everything else with his team.
"Aside from the power play, which obviously we're happy about, all the other parts of our game need to be better, the 5-on-5 to goaltending to whether it be penalty killing," Vigneault said. "So we've got work to do."
Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson is 3-9-1 with a 3.34 goals-against average versus Vancouver.
The Senators are 3 for 48 on the power play over their last 11 games against the Canucks, but will bring an East-leading 22.4 percentage into Sunday's contest.
While Vancouver's Sedin brothers have combined for 44 points and the bulk of the playmaking, the Senators have showcased great depth with 10 different players scoring during their short win streak.
"Our role players have been very good for the last few games and know we are starting to get some goals out of them," coach Paul MacLean said. "It really helps the team and takes a lot of the weight off the other guys."
Ottawa tough guy Zenon Konopka may want to be careful about leaving his club short-handed against the league's best power play. Konopka has led the NHL in penalty minutes the last two seasons and is second in the league with 73 in 2011-12.
|Dec 10 '11||VAN 4 at OTT 1||R. Kesler|
|Nov 20 '11||OTT 1 at VAN 2 - OT||C. Higgins|
|S. Da Costa||21||3||2||5||-9||8||0||0|