Knights spotlight zooms on Ellis

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

The London Knights coaches were burned by their own personal video recorder.

It didn't tape their 4-3 overtime Game 1 loss in Windsor on Wednesday so they had to scramble to get an extra copy.

"Ridiculous," London assistant coach Pat Curcio said with a grin.

They went over the video yesterday, but didn't have to watch a shift to know what needs fixed ahead of Game 2 tonight against the Spitfires at the John Labatt Centre.

Stop dandy defenceman Ryan Ellis, especially on the power play.

"I don't know really what you can do," Curcio said. "He's a power-play specialist who did the job for Canada at the world juniors. He does it for Windsor and he's probably going to do it in the NHL someday.

"We just can't take penalties."

The Knights will make adjustments to a penalty kill that surrendered all four Windsor goals in the Game 1 defeat. They were particularly vulnerable when Ellis controlled the puck at the point and backed off, opening up his shooting lane.

He scored midway through the third period on a two-man advantage to cut London's lead to 3-2, assisted on Andrei Loktionov's game-tying goal, then buried the overtime winner.

"He can pass it and has a good shot and not every defenceman can do both," London forward Phil Varone said. "He's a good player but he's not a machine. He's not Wayne Gretzky. He's the same age as we are and we're not machines, either. We're going to have to make sure we do a better job against him."

London, in fact, had a more productive power play all season than league champion Windsor. But the Knights only scored once in five opportunities and switched their usual approach with the man advantage. They moved John Carlson, normally the right-handed shot down low, back to a more traditional point spot, and put Phil McRae out on the top unit.

"We just made a change," Carlson, a Washington Capitals first-rounder, said. "It could be the same way (tonight) or we can try something else. We're always making adjustments. Special teams are a big part of the game."

Carlson finished second in OHL defencemen scoring this year with 76 points, tied with Belleville's PK Subban behind Ellis' 22 goals and 89 points. He has been a force while paired with New York Rangers first-rounder Michael Del Zotto in the playoffs.

But he was caught for hooking Windsor's Lane MacDermid in overtime, which led to Ellis' game-winner.

"I lunged for the puck, got caught out of position for a second there and couldn't get back fast enough into the play," Carlson said. "It's unacceptable to take that penalty. He (Ellis) is a good player, good on the power play, but I'm more looking at myself and trying to do what I can to help our team win."


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