Record: 29-21-4 (5th in the East)
The Senators are on fire lately. There's no other way of putting it. After starting the month off with an abysmal 1-5 record over the first six games, they have since strung together seven straight wins behind the solid goaltending of Brian Elliott.
With Pascal Leclaire , Elliott has had more than a few opportunities over that of the typical backup goaltender to prove himself in net. His first few outings may not have been the best, but there's no denying that he's finding his groove and keeping the Sens within the Top 8 in the standings.
When it comes to backup goaltenders and win streaks, sometimes it comes as a surprise, other times not to much. Coming from a Penguins perspective, we've seen guys like Ty Conklin in the past post up some impressive numbers. Even stretching further back you could even bring up Patrick Lalime. But for every Conklin and Lalime that excel under the pressure, there is also a Dany Sabourin or Jocelyn Thibault.
Elliot is a good reason for Ottawa's recent success, having posted a shutout against the Devils Tuesday night and beating out Crosby last week for the week's number one star, but he's hardly the only reason. Daniel Alfredsson is back in the lineup after missing some time with a shoulder injury brought on by none other than everyone's favorite neighborhood pest Matt Cooke back on December 23. Alf has five goals and five assists since returning six games ago, including a hat trick and three multi-point performances. If anything I'd imagine Cooke will be skating with his head up tonight. Not that I'd expect Alfredsson to pick a fight, but a retaliation from one of Ottawa's own may be a justified reason to drop the mitts.
Ottawa will no doubt look to extend their streak to seven with a win tonight, but a subplot to their drive on Mellon ice may also be driven by the hopes of washing away the last game against Pittsburgh, one they lost by the score of 8-2 (which also included an Evgeni Malkin hatty).
Puck and thread drop at 7:00. Come on by and hang out a bit.