Following a difficult return from the Olympic break and a devastating bout with the flu the Ottawa Senators were more than happy to be heading out on a three-game western road trip.
With the Senators looking to leapfrog the Buffalo Sabres for the lead in the Northeast Division this road trip will be crucial to Ottawa's playoff drive.
"It feels good to get back on the road again," said Mike Fisher. "The western Canada trip is always one we look forward to. It's never an easy trip, but lots of guys have family and friends out here so it's fun."
The team got off to a great start with a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. With the win the Senators are just two points back of the Sabres, who have two games in hand.
The Senators will look for victories over the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks before they return home to face the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The trip is also serving as a bonding opportunity for new players Andy Sutton and Matt Cullen, acquired just prior to the trade deadline.
"I think the new guys are settling in quite nicely," said Fisher. "Sometimes it takes a while to get used to a new team, but Cullen and Sutton have really played well for us the last few games so it's been great."
The addition of both players has added some depth to the Senators lineup, but everyone is aware how important these final few weeks of the regular season will be.
"We know there's always pressure on teams now because it's the drive for the playoffs and the race is so tight," said Fisher. "We know this trip has some tough teams we have to be ready every game. We've been neck and neck with Buffalo for a while now so it's important we get a few wins on this trip and continue to play well."