Los Angeles Kings at Ottawa Senators on Nov. 22, 2010

The Ottawa Senators will be looking to bounce back from a tough week — and avoid losing their fourth game in a row — when they take on the Los Angeles Kings at Scotiabank Place.

Los Angeles Kings at Ottawa Senators on Nov. 22, 2010
Kyle Turris #7 of the Ottawa Senators scores during the shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Senators defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

THE STORY: The Ottawa Senators will be looking to bounce back from a tough week — and avoid losing their fourth game in a row — when they take on the Los Angeles Kings at Scotiabank Place. Obviously affected by the sudden death of assistant coach Luke Richardson’s daughter just over a week ago, the Senators looked disorganized and unfocused on the ice in blowout road losses to the Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and St. Louis Blues. Now they get a chance to hit the reset button with six of the next seven games taking place in their own rink.

THE SUBPLOTS: Goaltender Brian Elliott has matched the team’s current losing streak, and hasn’t played well since shutting out the Boston Bruins nine days ago. True, the Senators have looked bad in front of him, but had he been able to keep the scores respectable, we might not be talking about the possibility of a Pascal Leclaire start against the Kings.

THE WILDCARD: Jason Spezza, Senators. The Ottawa offence has stalled again and the power play was a measly one for 10 on the most recent road trip. As such, they need their top centre to start producing again. After running up some impressive numbers in his first few games playing alongside Alex Kovalev and Peter Regin, Spezza has just one point (a goal) in his last five games.

THE OPPONENT: The Kings probably hope they’re following the same trajectory as the Chicago Blackhawks, another young team with skill to burn. The ‘Hawks made their return to the playoffs after a long absence couple of years ago, then won their division and carted the Stanley Cup around the ice to close out last season. The Kings got back into the postseason last spring and are currently leading the Pacific. Are there great things in store for them in June 2011? With players like Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Quick, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

THE QUOTE: “Our game has been pretty bad for the last three, so it’s probably best just to play a team we don’t know. We’re not going to beat anyone with the way we have been playing. I don’t think we’re that far off. (The changes) are a wake-up call. It shuffles things around. It keeps guys on edge. Sometimes, it’s better to lose those ones than the close ones when you trick yourself into thinking you’re playing better than you are.” — Spezza, after arriving to practice on Sunday to find out coach Cory Clouston had shuffled all the forward lines.

THE SICK BAY: Senators — D Erik Karlsson (flu, questionable). Kings — D Willie Mitchell (wrist, out 4-6 weeks), LW Alexei Ponikarovsky (broken finger, out one month), W Scott Parse (hip surgery, indefinite).

THE PREDICTION: I think the Senators are on the cusp of turning this ship around after a tough week, but it’s a tall task to accomplish against this young, strong Kings squad. I like Ottawa’s chances better against another Pacific Division opponent, the Dallas Stars, who are in here on Wednesday. Senators 1, Kings 4. See who the rest of our Senators Prediction Panel likes in this one.

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