Ottawa Senators at Calgary Flames on Nov. 15, 2011

The Ottawa Senators continue their stretch of nine road games in 10 overall in Calgary with a match-up with the flickering Flames.

Ottawa Senators at Calgary Flames on Nov. 15, 2011
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 continue their stretch of nine road games in 10 overall in Calgary with a match-up with the flickering Flames. Calgary’s hot finish to last season had people in Cowtown hoping their veteran squad would find its way back into playoff contention. So far, it’s not looking great. Ottawa, meanwhile, is probably ahead of where many saw it at this point in the season. The Senators are just one point out of a playoff spot, though they’ve played more games than all but two other NHL teams.

THE SUBPLOTS: The Senators snapped a five-game losing streak with their 5-2 win in Toronto on Saturday night, and they’d like nothing better than to avoid another slide on this tough western tour. After tonight’s game, they head to Edmonton, Vancouver and then back to Pittsburgh before a one-game break in the capital. This month might not make their season, but it certainly can break it.

THE WILDCARD: Craig Anderson. Finally, this is the Anderson the Senators thought they were getting when the signed him to a four-year, $12.75 million deal. Ottawa nearly collapsed late against the Leafs, but Anderson was there to make 15 saves in the third period alone. That allowed his team to pull away eventually and tackle the next leg of their trip on a positive vibe. The Senators need more nights like that from him.

THE OPPONENT: The Flames are a mess right now, with healthy vets getting scratched or waived and the team struggling to succeed in even the most favourable of circumstances. If not for Miikka Kiprusoff’s heroics, they would have choked away a 4-0 lead to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night (they wound up holding on, 4-3). There is already talk of trades and firings, which is never a good sign in mid-November.

THE QUOTE: “It would be a thrill – and I’d love to get a chance to play at home. I’m going to do my best to work hard and have a good start, and hopefully I can be a part of it.” — Senators centre Jason Spezza on the possibility of playing in the all-star game in Ottawa this season. He’ll need help from the NHL poohbahs who choose non-starters for the team, as fans here are putting their collective might behind the #votealfie campaign.

THE SICK BAY: Senators — D Matt Carkner (knee), C Peter Regin (shoulder), RW Chris Neil (ankle). Flames — D Brett Carson (back), D Anton Babchuk (hand), C Brendan Morrison (knee).

THE PREDICTION: Calgary is in the Northwest Division basement and the Senators are about to find themselves in the same position in the Northeast, what with the Boston Bruins actually playing like Stanley Cup champs now. Since there doesn’t appear to be a ton separating these two teams, skill-wise, I’ll just go with the home side. Senators 1, Flames 3 (CLICK HERE TO SEE WHO THE REST OF OUR PREDICTION PANEL LIKES IN THIS ONE).

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