Drake Batherson and Alex DeBrincat haven’t cooled off since the Ottawa Senators’ last visit to Detroit.
The Senators will visit the Red Wings once again on New Year’s Eve.
Batherson scored twice and DeBrincat collected three assists in a 6-3 Ottawa victory over Detroit on Dec. 17.
Batherson will carry a 12-game point streak (seven goals, 10 assists) into the rematch. DeBrincat has scored four goals in the last three games, including the tying and winning goals in a 4-3 road victory over Washington on Thursday.
DeBrincat, acquired from Chicago during the offseason, had six goals and 11 assists entering the month. He’s notched seven goals and 11 assists in December. He has at least one point in 12 of the last 13 games.
“In any new system, it takes some time,” center Shane Pinto said. “He’s in a new spot and you knew he was going to start scoring. It was just a matter of time. He’s such an elite player and he’s just getting more and more comfortable and he’s just showing everyone what he can do. I’m not surprised at all.”
The Senators, who have won two straight, erased 2-0 and 3-1 deficits. They are 8-3-2 this month.
“We battled back,” Jake Sanderson said. “Thought there was probably like five minutes throughout the game where we weren’t ourselves, but we battled back, and we felt like we deserved this one.”
Washington had won five straight prior to Ottawa’s rally.
“They’ve been on a hot streak right now, and we did a good job of shutting them down for the most part,” DeBrincat said.
Detroit rallied from a 4-0 deficit to defeat Pittsburgh in overtime on Wednesday. The Red Wings trailed 5-0 to Buffalo after two periods on Thursday. They scored three unanswered goals in the third but wound up losing 6-3.
“You try to push because we know we did it the night before, so there’s no reason not to do it again,” forward Dominik Kubalik said. “We had some scoring chances in the beginning, too, and we just didn’t capitalize. A couple of mistakes ended up in our net, so we learned a little lesson.”
Kubalik scored twice against the Sabres, giving him 12 on the season. He and David Perron trail team leader Dylan Larkin by one goal.
“We just ran out of time,” Larkin said. “We gave up too much early in the game and a lot of times we shot ourselves in the foot and didn’t defend well enough, giving them easy chances.”
Coach Derek Lalonde lamented turnovers in their zone.
“In the second, we literally had three pucks on our stick that ended up in the slot on their stick and that was just too easy for them,” he said.
The Red Wings have lost seven of their last nine games, going 2-5-2 during that span. The game on Saturday begins a stretch in which they play six of seven games at home.
Ottawa will host Detroit on back-to-back nights on Feb. 27-28. The two teams were supposed to play in Ottawa on Dec. 23 but severe weather in the area forced a postponement.
–Field Level Media