Senators seek repeat against Rangers; Flames try to stay hot

The Sports Network

12/9/2010 1:58:55 PM

(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers will try to avenge a recent loss to the Senators when they travel to Ottawa for tonight's clash at Scotiabank Place.

Ottawa has played a game since defeating the Rangers, but lost Tuesday's contest in Montreal. The 4-1 setback to the Canadiens was the fourth loss in five games for the Sens and their ninth defeat in 12 outings.

Carey Price made 27 stops and Jeff Halpern scored the game-winner early in the third to lift the Canadiens to the victory over their division rivals.

Nick Foligno lit the lamp for Ottawa, while Leclaire was charged with three goals on 33 shots. Brian Elliot briefly spelled Leclaire in the third and stopped one of the two shots he faced.

"It's a disappointing loss," said Foligno. "We thought we had a good game going, but a couple of penalties got their momentum going. We had such a good game against New York two nights ago and we battled tonight to tie it in the first. We played pretty solid, but they got two big penalties and we may have sat back too much."

Tonight's test marks the start of a three-game homestand for the Senators, who have lost three straight in Canada's capital city. Ottawa is 7-7-1 at Scotiabank Place this season.

The Rangers last played on Sunday, when they hosted the Senators at Madison Square Garden. Chris Kelly lit the lamp three times, including the game-winner with 2:24 left remaining in the third period to lift Ottawa past New York, 3-1.

Kelly completed the first hat trick of his career on an empty-netter with one second left for Ottawa. Pascal Leclaire turned away 25 shots to get his second win of the season.

Brandon Prust scored the lone goal for the Rangers, who were coming off a home-and-home sweep of the New York Islanders. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22- of-24 shots to record the loss.

"For me it was a tough one to eat because it was still a winnable game," said New York head coach John Tortorella. "I thought we did some really good things. We got some good looks with the power play but we couldn't finish. As poorly as we started, I thought we regrouped and we could have won it."

The Rangers have still won three of their last five matchups against the Sens and the Blueshirts have won three straight and four of their last five in Ottawa. New York is 10-4-0 as the visiting team overall this season and has won three in a row away from the Big Apple.

Calgary Flames (12-14-2) vs Los Angeles Kings (15-10-0)

The Los Angeles Kings are coming off consecutive victories, a sign that the club may finally be getting back to its early-season form. The Kings will try to make it three wins in a row when they host the Calgary Flames tonight at the Staples Center.

The Flames have won two of three and three of their last five games and are coming off Tuesday's victory over a visiting Tampa Bay club. Rene Bourque had a goal and two assists as Calgary took the 4-2 decision at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Cory Sarich, Jarome Iginla and Tom Kostopoulos each had a goal for the Flames, who had dropped six of nine prior to Tuesday's win. Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 22 shots in the victory.

"We've got to keep rolling," Bourque said. "It seems like we win one, we lose one. We need an effort like this in Los Angeles. We need to streak some wins together."

Calgary, which will complete a two-game road trip in Anaheim on Friday, is just 5-8-2 as the visiting club this season.

The Flames beat the Kings earlier this season in Calgary, posting a 3-1 win on Oct. 10. It was the eighth win in the last nine meetings in this series for the Flames, who have also claimed five of the last seven encounters in LA.

The Kings began this season with a 12-3-0 record and that start featured a string of six straight wins from Oct. 28-Nov. 13. However, Los Angeles lost seven of its next eight games after that winning streak before posting two straight victories to begin December.

LA ended a four-game slide with a 3-2 regulation win over visiting Florida last Thursday and the Kings continued their four-game homestand with Saturday's overtime victory over Detroit. The Kings, who boast a stellar 10-2-0 mark on home ice this year, will close the residency with tonight's test and Saturday's game against Minnesota.

The Kings' most recent victory came in thrilling fashion as Anze Kopitar scored the game-winning goal with 56 seconds left in OT, lifting LA to a 3-2 victory over the Western Conference-leading Red Wings.

A Detroit turnover in the enemy's zone resulted in a rush for the Kings. Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown pushed the puck down the left wing and sent a cross-ice pass that Kopitar hammered at the top of the faceoff circle behind Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood.

Justin Williams and Alec Martinez joined Kopitar with a goal and an assist for Los Angeles. Jonathan Quick made 27 saves in the win.

"It's a huge win," Williams said. "It's a big win against arguably the best team in the league right now. We battled back from a couple one-goal deficits and we played a strong third period."