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NHL: 4 things to know for Wednesday night

01/21/2015 02:36 EST | Updated 03/23/2015 05:59 EDT
Two struggling Ontario teams meet in Ottawa as the Senators host the Maple Leafs, while at the other end of the spectrum the Jets and Flames carry four-game winning streaks into their contests.

Here are four things to know for Wednesday night's NHL games.

What's next for Leafs? 

First it was the coach, then the leading scorer and now the captain. Not it seems many in the Maple Leafs' fan base are citing Dion Phaneuf as the man who has to go to pull the team out of its tailspin as Toronto (22-22-3) carries a five-game losing streak into Ottawa.

The Leafs have been outscored 16-2 in those five losses, including 7-1 in the first period as they play from behind nearly every game they play, including their latest loss, 4-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday in Toronto.

Phaneuf was particularly agitated in that loss as he blasted Jordan Staal to the ice and went toe-to-toe with Staal's brother Eric, the Hurricanes' captain.

The Leafs have lost 13 of 16 starts, although they did win their latest meeting with the Senators, 5-3 on Nov. 9.

​Sens struggling when it counts

Nearly as desperate as the Leafs are the Senators (18-18-9), who've dropped nine of their last 13 decisions. Last night in New York, where they had a lengthy string of victories, Ottawa fell 3-2 in overtime to the Rangers.

They've also had plenty of problems beating the Leafs, losing 10 of their last dozen encounters.

Milan Michalek, with three goals and five points in his last three games, and defenceman Erik Karlsson, with 14 points in his last 10, have been providing the offence of late, but the Senators have not been winning the close games, with four of their last five setbacks coming by a single goal. 

Jets top Western wild card race

​The Winnipeg Jets (25-14-8) carry a four-game win streak into play Wednesday at the MTS Centre against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets (20-21-3). The Jets, who hold the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference, are 5-0-1 in their last six starts and their offence has perked up with 22 goals in that time.

Bryan Little bailed them out in their latest game, a 4-3 shootout victory Sunday over Arizona.

Winnipeg and Columbus met Nov. 25 in Columbus, with the Jets taking a 4-2 victory.

Flames search for rare Anaheim win

A pair of teams with four-game win streaks meet in Anaheim as the Ducks (30-10-6) try to improve on their Western Conference-leading points total against the Calgary Flames (25-18-3).

Calgary has won four times on this road trip but hasn't won at the Honda Center in 11 years. The Flames have gone 0-14-5 since their last victory in Anaheim, on Jan. 19, 2004.

Dennis Wideman scored an overtime winner in the Flames' latest triumph, 2-1 Monday against the Los Angeles Kings.

The Ducks, 16-4-1 since the start of December, are battling Nashville for the best record in the West. Their latest victory was also against the Kings, 3-2 Saturday in a shootout.

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