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Sens, Wild collide in Minnesota

(SportsNetwork.com) - There is still plenty of hockey left to be played, but that doesn't mean the Ottawa Senators and Minnesota Wild aren't keep an eye on the standings.

The two clubs look to extend recent surges on Tuesday night with a meeting in Minnesota.

The Senators are 5-0-1 in their last six games, climbing to within two points of the final two postseason spots in the Eastern Conference, while the Wild own a four-point lead for eighth place in the Western Conference thanks to a victory in five of their last six.

Ottawa wraps a four-game road trip tonight and rebounded from an overtime loss in Colorado to beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday. Both Mika Zibanejad and Jason Spezza scored for the Sens in the tiebreaker, while Craig Anderson stopped both skaters he faced.

Kyle Turris scored in regulation while Anderson stopped 32 shots through overtime.

"You don't want to fall behind. We know we're in a lump of a group of teams, but with the games-in-hand and the not-games-in-hand I think it's too early to be looking at where you sit," said Spezza.

Anderson has not lost in regulation since Dec. 19, going 6-0-2 since. However, he has allowed three goals or more in five of those eight games.

Minnesota, meanwhile, has found success despite not having forwards Zach Parise (lower body) and Mikko Koivu (ankle surgery) as well as goaltender Josh Harding (illness) out of the lineup.

The Wild also rebounded from a loss to Colorado, besting the hosting Nashville Predators 4-0 on Sunday.

Darcy Kuemper made 23 saves for his first career NHL shutout, while Dany Heatley, Jason Zucker, Matt Cooke and Marco Scandella all had goals.

Charlie Coyle, skating on a line with Heatley and Zucker, notched a pair of assists.

"I think it's also the first time we've had a couple of guys we've played steady together for more than a game or two," Heatley said. "Like I said, that chemistry's a big deal and it's going good right now."

Kuemper only had to make five saves in the opening period, but turned aside nine in each of the final two frames to finish off the shutout. He will get the call in net again tonight as he faces the Senators for the first time.

Ottawa is 8-3-0 with a tie all-time versus Minnesota and had won six straight in the series before a 4-3 home loss on Nov. 20. Koivu had the winner, Heatley finished with a goal and an assist and Harding made 34 saves.

Turris, Zibanejad and Milan Michalek scored for the Senators, while Anderson made 21 saves.

Sens backup Robin Lehner is slated to get the start tonight and has never faced the Wild. He has given up five goals in each of his last two starts overall, the most recent on Dec. 27.

Ottawa has won three straight on the road in this series and is 4-1-0 with a tie all-time in Minnesota.

The Senators announced on Monday that general manager Bryan Murray signed a two-year contract extension and was also named the president of hockey operations. Upon the conclusion of the extension in 2016, Murray will stay on with the team in an advisory role.

The 71-year-old Murray has been with the franchise since June 2004 when he was named the team's head coach, then took over the general manager's duties on June 18, 2007.

01/14 11:20:36 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Montreal23rd Prd 18:05 | Box
Tampa Bay2@theRink | TV: CNBC, CBC, RDS, SunSports
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Columbus32nd Prd 3:28 | Box
Pittsburgh3@theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, FS-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/16 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim @theRink | TV: NBCSN, TSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
4th
CHA 80
CHI 80
 
11th
DUR 4
NOR 6
 
Final
CIN 4
PIT 0
Final
BAL 3
TAM 0
Final
NYY 3
CHC 0
Final
MIL 5
STL 1
Final
ARI 2
NYM 5
8th
PHI 0
ATL 1
 
7th
NYY 2
CHC 0
 
6th
DET 1
CLE 3
 
8th
MIA 3
WAS 4
 
4th
TEX 0
SEA 2
 
3rd
CWS 1
BOS 1
 
3rd
HOU 2
KAN 1
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN 0
TOR 0
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
4th
CHA 80
CHI 80
 
4th
ORL 78
IND 94
 
Half
MIL 63
ATL 58
 
Half
CLE 51
BRK 49
 
2nd
MEM 51
DAL 53
 
Half
OKC 54
DET 55
 
Half
NOP 53
HOU 50
 
Half
SAN 51
LAL 51
 
2nd
MIA 51
PHI 54
 
Half
NYK 44
TOR 57
 
Half
MIN 48
UTA 51
 
Half
BOS 56
WAS 68
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
3rd
TAM 2
MON 2
 
2nd
PIT 3
CLB 3
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
11th
DUR 4
NOR 6