67's in power outage

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

Last week, it was the defence.

This week, it's the offence -- notably the power play --in the crosshairs of 67's coach/GM Brian Kilrea.

The team looks to break a five-game winless skid tonight when it hosts the Sarnia Sting at the Civic Centre (7:30 p.m.).

During those five games, the 67's have scored a feeble three times during 31 power-play opportunities.

"We just can't get five guys out there that can work together," said Kilrea. "We've used every defenceman out there, pretty much everybody except the backup goalie."

Scoring with the man advantage won't come easy against the defensive Sting, which has allowed just four goals in 55 penalty-killing situations heading into its game last night in Peterborough.

Besides the power play, Kilrea wants more pressure in the offensive zone.

The last outburst of goals for Ottawa came two weeks ago during a 5-3 victory at home against Sudbury.

But during the last five games, the 67's have scored just seven times.

Last Friday, the 67's ruined a comeback bid against Guelph when their opponents scored twice in the final five minutes during a 4-2 win for the Storm. Kilrea blasted his team's play in its own zone after the game.

The blue line got some help during Wednesday's 1-1 tie against the Bulls in Belleville with the return of veteran defencemen Rob Lawrance and Elgin Reid, who each suffered shoulder injuries during the pre-season.

"They both moved the puck well and did a good job," said Kilrea. "We cut down on the chances in our own zone."

Tonight, however, the 67's, will be without defenceman Tyson Aitcheson, who sat out in Belleville with a groin injury.

Backup goalie Anthony Guadagnolo gets his second straight start with Danny Battochio on the bench with a sprained groin.

Battochio suffered the injury last Friday while skating to the bench during a delayed penalty in the second period, but remained in the game.

NOTES: Hotdogs and soft drinks will cost 99 cents at tonight's game ... W Lukas Kaspar returned to the lineup in Belleville after missing two games with a charley horse ... F John Hecimovic, a first-round pick of the Florida Panthers in the 2000 NHL draft, leads the Sting with four goals and eight points ... Sarnia, which has scored 14 goals in nine games, was ranked last in the OHL in the goals-for category heading into last night's game in Peterborough ... Czech rookie Jakub Petruzalek has taken over Ottawa's scoring lead with nine points (three goals) in eight games.


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