Ottawa will welcome back captain Jason Spezza tonight when it takes on the Avs in Colorado.
Spezza, who missed the last four contests with a hip injury, skated on a line with Zack Smith and Mark Stone during yesterday’s practice — forming the “SSS Line” — and will try to not upset the apple cart in his return.
The Sens have won four straight with Spezza out of the lineup, including Saturday’s 4-3 OT victory in Montreal. One of the players that’s stepped up in the captain’s absence is Mika Zibanejad, who has four points in his last three games and seems to have found chemistry on a line with Milan Michalek and Cory Conacher.
It’s been a nice stretch of play, but the Sens aren’t ready to rest on their laurels.
“The goal is to be in the playoffs at the end of the season,” said goalie Craig Anderson, per Sens Extra.
“That’s been our goal since Day 1. Obviously we didn’t play the first half the way we wanted to, but things right now are starting to go in our favor. We’re working hard at it.
“We’re getting better every day. If you worry about what you can control, and that’s how we work and how we play, the end result, if we keep winning games, usually you end up in the playoffs because you’re winning more games than you’re losing.”
So good last season, Anderson’s numbers have fallen dramatically in 2013-14, from a save percentage of .941 to .904. But he’s been better lately, with five straight victories to show for it.
And according to coach Paul MacLean, “We’re not spending as much time in our own zone, or turning over as many pucks as we did earlier in the year, which makes it a little easier to manage momentum.”