for this game

Sens play home opener against Avs

Oct 16, 2014 - 2:47 PM ( - The Ottawa Senators are probably pretty happy to finally be playing this season's home opener, but they can't be too excited about who they have to face.

The Senators try to snap a seven-game losing streak to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday evening.

Ottawa went 2-1-0 on a season-opening road trip, capping the swing with a 1-0 win over the Florida Panthers. Clarke MacArthur scored the game's only goal at the 15:34 mark of the second period and Craig Anderson ended with 30 saves for his 27th career shutout.

"It was huge for us, as a group, to follow it up with two wins," Anderson said, referring to a season-opening loss in Nashville. "That's what it comes down to. You have to figure out how to win."

Anderson has done that versus Florida, improving to 11-2-1 against his former club. That may have earned him another start tonight as the Senators kick off a four-game homestand.

Anderson, though, has struggled when facing the Avalanche, who he also once played for. In three starts against them, he is 0-2-1 with a 6.35 goals against average and .826 save percentage.

The Senators have not beaten the Avalanche since Dec. 12, 2005 in Colorado. They have not beaten the club at home since March 18, 2004, losing four straight as the host in this series.

Colorado resumes a stretch of five of six on the road to start the season, a span that ends on Saturday versus Montreal. The Avalanche fell to 1-2-1 on the season with a 3-2 overtime loss to Toronto on Tuesday.

The Maple Leafs' Phil Kessel scored 34 seconds into the extra session. He retrieved a puck in the Colorado zone, had a step on Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie as he cut to the front of the net and swept the puck underneath Semyon Varlamov.

Ryan O'Reilly and Matt Duchene both scored their first goals of the season for Colorado. Varlamov stopped 37 shots and Jarome Iginla had two assists for his first points with the Avs.

"Obviously in the third they had maybe more gas than we had, but overall I thought we played a good game," said Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy.

Varlamov is 2-2-1 with a 3.21 GAA and .899 save percentage in five previous meetings with the Senators.