The Senators will be well represented on Sunday when they host the All-Star game, but they still have work to do on the road before the NHL's best arrive in Ottawa later this week.
With center Kyle Turris making his return to Arizona on Tuesday night after last month's trade to Ottawa, the Senators will try to avoid heading into the break on a three-game losing streak as they take on the Phoenix Coyotes.
Sixteen months after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that Ottawa would host its first All-Star game, the city and its fans are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to watch this weekend's mid-season showcase at Scotiabank Place.
They'll feel plenty of hometown support this weekend, but they'd feel much better about returning home following a victory.
The Senators (27-18-6), who had their franchise-record 11-game road point streak snapped Saturday with a 2-1 loss to Anaheim, fell 4-1 to Los Angeles on Monday. Ottawa killed four of five penalties, but coach Paul MacLean said his team can't keep putting itself in that position.
"You can't take penalties and continue to have success killing them off, especially 5-on-3," he said. "We have to be better."
After conceding the first goal in each of their last six games, the Senators would like a quicker start in their first matchup versus Phoenix since a 5-2 home win Oct. 26, 2010.
While there's not much of a history between these clubs -- they've met 18 times since the Coyotes relocated to the desert in 1996 -- Turris' history with the Coyotes could make for an interesting return to Jobing.com Arena.
He was dealt to Ottawa on Dec. 17 for defenseman David Rundblad and a second-round draft pick after holding out all of training camp and the Coyotes' first 19 games this season in a contract dispute that was settled Nov. 22 when he signed a two-year, $2.6 million deal.
Turris has four goals and nine assists in his last 18 games after going scoreless in his first six wearing a Senators jersey.
The Coyotes (21-20-8), losers of six of seven, have seven goals on 96 shots during their three-game skid. They outshot Tampa Bay 36-21 in Saturday's 4-3 loss.
"You need to capitalize on opportunities, and we didn't do that," coach Dave Tippett said.
It's uncertain if the Coyotes will face Craig Anderson or Alex Auld. Anderson, the NHL leader with 1,261 saves and 2,568 minutes, was pulled after two periods Monday after surrendering four goals in his 13th consecutive start.
Anderson is 0-5-0 with a 2.76 goals-against average in his last five starts versus Phoenix.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan leads the club with seven goals and 10 points in its last nine home games. Phoenix plays three more there following the All-Star break.
"Winning the last game (before the break) will get everything kinda going in the right direction for us," Doan said.
In the last matchup in Arizona, the Coyotes won 3-2 on Dec. 5, 2009, to snap a five-game losing streak to Ottawa.
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