(Sports Network) - Hoping to avoid their longest losing streak of the season, the Ottawa Senators return to Scotiabank Place tonight looking for their first victory over the Los Angeles Kings in nearly five years. The Senators have dropped three straight for the first time since opening the season with three consecutive defeats and are returning home following a 5-2 setback in St. Louis on Friday.
Brian Elliott allowed five goals on 33 shots faced, yielding three scores in a 1:26 span during the second period. Center Chris Kelly, though, wouldn't put the club's fourth loss in five games directly on Elliott's shoulders. "It's not the goalie's fault," said Kelly. "I don't know if there's been a game that it has been the goalie's fault. It's a team effort. We didn't do him any favors by playing the way we did in the second period."
Mike Fisher and Jesse Winchester scored the goals for Ottawa, which will play two straight and six of its next seven at home following a 1-3-0 road trip. Ottawa goes for its first win over Los Angeles since Dec. 2, 2005, losing three straight to the club since that home victory. The Sens were shut out at home by the Kings two seasons ago and lost a 6-3 test in LA last year.
Though Elliott has started 15 of the Sens' last 16 games, Pascal Leclaire could get the call tonight seeing as he is 2-0-1 with a 0.97 goals-against average in his career versus the Kings. Elliott is winless in his two career starts against the club with a 3.54 GAA.
The Kings are 8-1 with a tie in their last 10 games overall versus the Senators and have won four of the last five in Ottawa. They snapped a three- game slide on Saturday with a 4-3 shootout decision in Boston, giving them a split of the first two contests of a four-game road trip.
Michal Handzus had one of the three regulation goals for the Kings and then netted the shootout's lone tally in the sixth round after the first 11 skaters failed. The forward bested Boston goaltender Tim Thomas with a simple wrister stick side. "When I go in, I decide what I see and what my options are," Handzus said. "I saw a couple guys try to make a move, and (Thomas) was pretty good, so I just tried to shoot it."
Jonathan Quick made 38 saves before standing tall in the shootout to give Los Angeles its seventh victory in 10 games. He is among the league leaders with 11 wins, a 1.82 GAA and .935 save percentage and is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA in his career versus Ottawa and made 29 saves in the shut-out win in Ottawa on Feb. 3, 2009.
Justin Williams had an assist in Saturday's win to give him seven goals and eight assists over his last 13 games. He scored twice in last year's victory over Ottawa, giving him five goals and 13 points in 26 games against them.
Fisher scored twice for the Sens in that defeat and has four goals in nine games when facing the Kings.