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Senators G Gerber looks to slow high-scoring Blackhawks

Ottawa (10-10-5) at Chicago (12-6-7) 8:30 pm. EST

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Ottawa Senators goaltender Martin Gerber

will have his hands full when he makes his first start in more

than a month on Wednesday against the red-hot Chicago

Blackhawks.

The Senators had been riding the wave with Alex Auld, who had

been among the league leaders with a 2.06 goals-against average

before allowing three goals in the first 30 minutes of a 4-3

overtime loss to Florida on Monday.

However, Ottawa coach Craig Hartsburg has chosen to rest Auld

and give Gerber his first start since since November 7.

Talk about being tossed into the Chicago fire; Gerber faces a

scorching-hot Blackhawks team that is coming off its best

offensive game. Chicago scored all seven of its goals in the

first 28 minutes of a 7-1 win over Phoenix on Sunday.

The Blackhawks have scored 15 times in their last three games.

"It's a good challenge for Martin," Hartsburg said on the team's

official web site. "We trust that Martin will go out and play a

good game for us."

Gerber is 2-0-1 with one tie and a 2.40 GAA in four career games

against the Blackhawks.

While Chicago has found the net regularly, Ottawa is starting to

heat up after a slow start.

The Senators, who are near the bottom of the league with an

average of 2.48 goals, have scored three or more goals in three

straight games for the first time. Jason Spezza is leading the

way, having scored five times in his last three games.

Ottawa has lost four of the last five meetings between the

teams.

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