Matt Duchene doesn’t want to compare his season to Kyle Turris’, even if the two are indirectly linked together by a November trade.
Turris returns to Ottawa Thursday night when his Nashville Predators visit the Senators. It’s the first meeting between the two teams since the three-way deal with Colorado sent Turris to Nashville while bringing Duchene to Ottawa.
“We didn’t really get traded for each other, it was a roundabout thing,” Duchene said. “He’s a tremendous player that had a great stint when he was here and a guy that we have to watch out for [Thursday] night because he’s a good offensive player, so that’s as far as it goes. I’ve never even thought about it because we didn’t really get traded for each other, so that’s the way I look at it.
“I know you guys are going to try and make it into this big match-up, but it’s probably the furthest thing for both teams. I’m sure this game means a lot more to him than it does to me. He’s playing his former team.”
Duchene heating up after cold start
As part of the deal, Colorado received forward Shane Bowers, goaltender Andrew Hammond, a 2018 first-round pick and 2019 third-round selection from Ottawa.
Duchene had two goals and three assists in his first 20 games with the Senators while Turris had four goals and 13 helpers with Nashville, playing a key role in the Predators’ run for first place in the Central Division.
Duchene had joined the Senators just as they were falling into a downward spiral. Ottawa won its first two games with Duchene in the lineup — against Colorado — then lost seven straight and 12 of 13.
Duchene has seven goals and eight assists in his last 18 games, but he doesn’t believe much has changed since his arrival.
“I feel like my game was close to what it is right now early on when I got here, but the pucks just weren’t going in for me or my linemates,” said Duchene. “You think about having a good game, but because you don’t get the results you don’t count it as that and that’s not the way it is.
“You’ve got to focus on the process first and the results come and that’s kind of been my process here.”
Senators hoping for reinforcements
Turris’s former teammates said Wednesday that it will be odd to see Turris on the opposite end of the ice.
“Hockey’s a physical game and I’m not saying I’m not going to play him hard, but it really is tough, especially when a guy is not just your friend but someone you looked up to as I grew in this organization,” said Mark Borowiecki. “It really is an interesting situation.”
The Senators are hoping to get some reinforcements for Thursday’s game. Mark Stone, who has missed the last eight games with a knee injury, could be back if he feels up to it following the morning skate and Derick Brassard, who missed Tuesday’s game with a mobility issue, could also return.
Ottawa will be without Alex Burrows after he received a 10-game suspension for a knee to the back of New Jersey’s Taylor Hall during Tuesday’s game.
Guy Boucher said Wednesday that Craig Anderson would get a second straight start. The Senators had been alternating between Anderson and Mike Condon but Boucher said Condon is under the weather.
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