NHL Hockey

Senators, Red Wings look to end skids

Ottawa Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson would like his workload reduced during games. That would certainly help his team end its losing streak.

Despite Nilsson's efforts, the Senators have lost their last four games. Nilsson has started two of the last three games and stopped 93 of 97 shots on goal.

Nilsson and Craig Anderson have faced an average of 36.1 shots on goal during Ottawa's slow start. The Senators head into their home game against Detroit on Wednesday with a 1-6-1 record. The Red Wings are on an even longer slide, dropping their last five games.

Nilsson made 41 saves in a 2-1 loss to Dallas on Monday.

"He's been outstanding," Senators coach D.J. Smith said. "He was our best player (Monday), he was our best player in Vegas (a 3-2 shootout loss on Thursday). I thought we wasted his effort here (Monday). In saying that, it's a real bright spot for us that he's playing the way he is."

While the Senators' goaltenders have been under siege, the team's offense has gone into cold storage. It has produced just five goals during the slide.

Vladislav Namestnikov (four goals, two assists) is the only player with more than two goals this season.

"It's not the way we wanted to play or should play. We can't be happy with 40-plus shots when we put up 20 on their goal," Nilsson told NHL.com. "It's tough to win the game that way. We just need to bear down, work hard and throw more pucks at the net. Sometimes it takes a bounce, or you get a rebound for a second or third chance."

Last season, the Senators and Wings split their four-game series. Ottawa pulled out 2-1 and 4-2 victories in the first two meetings, while Detroit won the last two games 2-0 and 3-2.

The Red Wings gave up five third-period goals in a 5-2 home loss to Vancouver on Tuesday. They don't have much time to dwell on the defeat.

"We have a game tomorrow. We're playing a team in Ottawa and it's a building we've had success in the last couple of years," center Dylan Larkin said. "So right now, we need two points in the worst way and that's our focus. We're going to battle hard tomorrow. We need those two points. We've got to be desperate from the start."

Detroit's downfall to the Canucks began when it was whistled for a penalty in the closing seconds of the second period, then took another moment after Vancouver's first goal.

"We're taking too many penalties to begin with," Larkin said. "We can kill off two or three penalties but when it gets up to five or six penalties, it's so hard. Those guys (the penalty killers) are playing big minutes."

One of Detroit's top defenseman, Danny DeKeyser, suffered a lower-body injury during the final period. His status for Wednesday's game is questionable.

"That's a hard game to lose but it's going to be over tomorrow," coach Jeff Blashill said. "We're going to look at ways to get better and we've got to find a way to win a game in Ottawa."

--Field Level Media

Updated October 23, 2019

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