Anaheim at Ottawa
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, December 19, 2014
Where: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario
The Ottawa Senators have proven to be a bit of a tough out since replacing coach Paul MacLean with Dave Cameron. The new Senators bench boss will face a stiff test Friday night as his team hosts the powerhouse Anaheim Ducks. Ottawa is coming off an impressive 2-0 triumph over the New Jersey Devils - completing a 2-0-1 road trip in the process - while the Ducks are also on a high following a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
Ottawa will go with Craig Anderson in goal against Anaheim after he put together his most complete effort of the season, turning aside 34 shots to upend the host Devils. "You do want to ride the hot hand," Cameron said, "but it's a lot easier when you have two goalies that you're comfortable with. 'Andy' was superb so why not keep him going?" The Ducks struggled offensively against the Canadiens, but ultimately prevailed on Matt Beleskey's team-high 15th goal.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FS-W (Anaheim), TSN5 (Ottawa)
ABOUT THE DUCKS (22-7-5): Anaheim continues to get unexpected goal production from Beleskey, who came into the season with a career high of 11 goals but has already blown past that just 34 games into the campaign. A fourth-round pick of the Ducks in 2006, Beleskey had gone three contests without a goal before potting the winner against Montreal, one-timing a Rickard Rakell pass over Carey Price's right shoulder to break a tie with former Hart Trophy recipient Corey Perry for the team lead in goals. He has also proven to be a clutch contributor, leading the club with four game-winning goals.
ABOUT THE SENATORS (13-12-6): Ottawa made headlines off the ice Thursday, agreeing to make rookie forward Curtis Lazar available to the host Canadian entry at the world junior hockey championships later this month. Lazar has struggled with the big club this season - recording one goal and six assists in 27 games - but was a force for Team Canada at last year's world junior competition, recording seven points in seven games. "I want to lead and really feel I can do that," he told reporters. "We're on home soil and the expectation is for us to win gold."
1. Anaheim is 6-0-1 in seven meetings since besting Ottawa in the 2007 Stanley Cup final.
2. The Senators have scored just four goals in their last four games against the Ducks.
3. Ottawa has lost 37 of its last 51 games against Pacific Division foes.
PREDICTION: Senators 3, Ducks 2
Stats and Records