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OTTAWA — Dark clouds are circling over the Ottawa Senators

Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:37 am

OTTAWA — Dark clouds are circling over the Ottawa Senators Carolina Hurricanes Hats Womens , who hope to make it through Saturday without getting drenched.The season forecast could hinge on what hits them in the morning.The status of team leading scorer Matt Duchene and veteran winger Bobby Ryan is expected to be made clear when the team returns to work after Friday’s day off. Article continues below ...Both players were injured during Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, after which Senators coach Guy Boucher said both “could be” out long term.The Senators (12-14-3) are still among the pack in the playoff chase, but after back-to-back losses they are also only a couple of points from the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. Facing the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins in home-ice starts less than 24 hours apart — beginning with Saturday’s game against a Penguins team that’s revving its engine — will be a difficult challenge even if the Senators catch a break on the Duchene and Ryan injury fronts.They can ill afford to lose either player for an extended period.“I would like to say going forward it’s going to be better,” goalie Craig Anderson said after the Senators were sunk by a second-period breakdown against the Montreal Canadiens — for the second time in two days — after stringing three wins together the previous week.“We have to make sure we do everything we can to make it better and be more consistent. Losing that momentum, making it two, three, four (losses), that’s where things start to be a little sour. We want to make sure we don’t go down that path.”The Penguins (12-10-5) will be starting a three-game road trip when they visit Ottawa. They are coming off back-to-back wins (6-3 over Colorado and 6-2 over the New York Islanders) for the first time since October. Pittsburgh is now 5-2-1 in its last eight games.“Obviously this year hasn’t started off the best for us,” Penguins winger Phil Kessel told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We’re right in it. There’s lots of hockey to play. We have to keep improving and getting better.”Taking over the goaltending reins since the injury to Matt Murray Custom Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys , Casey DeSmith is now 5-1-1 in his last seven starts.“That’s what happens when the whole team comes out and plays really well, plays really hard,” DeSmith told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after stopping 19 of 21 shots in Thursday’s win over the Islanders. “Dominated at home, that’s something we’ve been wanting to do more and more lately. I think (Thursday) was kind of a culmination of that. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling.”This will be the second of three meetings between Ottawa and Pittsburgh this season. The Senators, who are 9-5-2 at Canadian Tire Centre, defeated the Penguins 6-4 on Nov. 17 at PPG Paints Arena, with Duchene and Mark Stone each scoring twice and Anderson making 31 saves.Anderson, who is 6-10-3 in his career against the Penguins Chicago Blackhawks Hoodies Womens , is expected to get the start Saturday. In that case, coach Guy Boucher would likely go with backup Mike McKenna versus the Bruins.“The major thing we have to do is play with the puck a little more,” said Anderson, who has faced more rubber than any other goalie this season. “That’s the key.” SEA ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Things are going well enough that the NHL is ready to expand to Seattle and the salary cap keeps going up.But the league is still dealing with a few uncertain situations on the eve of what should be a slam-dunk expansion vote to bring Seattle into the fold.The Ottawa Senators’ downtown arena project is in danger of falling apart, and Arizona Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway is looking for a partner as he tries to secure a long-term home in the desert. Meanwhile, the league would like to begin making plans for a 2020 World Cup of Hockey but has no guarantee of labor peace that would allow such a tournament to take place.“If we’re going to do a World Cup, and do it with the planning necessary, if we don’t know by the first of the year or All-Star Chicago Blackhawks Hats Womens , then there’s no sense in trying to pull off a World Cup for 2020,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday. “For the last year and a half, two years, we’ve been anxious to anchor plans for a World Cup, but for whatever reason the Players’ Association hasn’t been prepared to do that.”Bettman updated the Board of Governors on those topics and others before the vote that’s expected to award Seattle the league’s 32nd franchise. The team would begin play in the 2021-22 season, a year after original plans because arena renovations aren’t scheduled to be finished until the fall of 2020.Seattle expansion and the realignment that comes with it will be announced Tuesday.Those topics weren’t discussed on the first day of the board’s annual December meeting that was more about league business. Bettman says the salary cap is projected to go up to roughly $83 million next season, up from the current $79.5 million limit. That’s a sign revenues are continuing to rise after the success of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.“The fact that the salary cap continues to increase means revenue’s continued to increase, which means the state of the sport and the business is very healthy — as healthy as it’s ever been,” Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. “And that’s good for us Adidas Patrik Berglund Jersey , that’s good for the players. I think it’s good for everybody.”There isn’t yet agreement between the league and the Players’ Association that would ensure neither side chooses to terminate the current collective bargaining agreement in September 2020.“There hasn’t been any substantive dialogue on any of the topics that I assume (players) may or may not want to conclude,” Bettman said. “They know the time frame. The puck’s in their end.”An NHLPA spokesman said the group did not have anything to add on the topic of potential CBA talks.Situations with the Senators and Coyotes are league concerns that bear watching with particular attention on Melnyk suing his partner for $700 million in the aftermath of the failing arena development plan. Bettman said he’s “disappointed” with how things have gone in Ottawa, which ranks 27th in attendance at its rink outside Canada’s capital.“I think for a whole host of reasons (a new downtown arena) would be nice, but Mr. Melnyk has said if he has to make Canadian Tire Centre work, he can do that,” Bettman said. “This is a complicated situation, although in its original form, for a lot of reasons, some of which you’ve read in the complaint that’s been filed Adidas Vladimir Sobotka Jersey , the project as originally envisioned unfortunately isn’t viable.”It’s unclear what’s viable long-term for the Coyotes, who have been fighting for years for a stable arena situation in the Phoenix area. Barroway, who became the Coyotes’ sole owner in June 2017, is now looking to sell a portion of the team in what would be another shakeup atop an organization all too used to changes and uncertainty in recent years.“I think Andy Barroway’s made clear that he’s looking for a partner,” Daly said. “There’s been a lot of discussion around that, and I think he’s hopeful that something can happen in the near term. … I think the efforts there will be on getting a new arena. So we have some patience.”

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