SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers loss 'tough to take'

Edmonton's Colin Fraser fights Ottawa's Milan Michalek during the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 to the 29th...

Edmonton's Colin Fraser fights Ottawa's Milan Michalek during the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 to the 29th place Senators at Rexall Place on Saturday. (CODIE McLACHLAN/QMI Agency)

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:48 PM ET

EDMONTON - All season the Edmonton Oilers have claimed the attitude in the dressing room was vastly improved despite finding themselves in a similar lowly position as last year.

Yet even for a team built for the future, Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators was tough to take and may have signified rock bottom.

"It's frustrating when you lose against any team, it's not fun," said Oilers rookie Jordan Eberle. "It's crappy when you have to come to the rink when everyone is frustrated and beating down on each other.

"But we have to try and remain positive here. The best part about hockey is that we get to play tomorrow and we get a chance to redeem ourselves. We have a chance to turn things around."

If anything, Saturday's effort exposed the Oilers as the deserving last-place team they are.

The Senators came into the contest on an 11-game losing skid, two points up on the Oilers in the standings and with very little to play for.

Within the next two weeks, the Senators are expected to trade off their assets in order to go through a similar rebuilding phase as the Oilers.

And despite scoring two goals on their first two shots, the visitors seemed disinterested, but eventually cashed in on the numerous turnovers and power-play opportunities allotted to them by the hosts.

"Penalties killed us," Eberle said. "Eventually they were going to get one and they got one at the end. That drained us a little bit. We had to be more disciplined."

Having failed to beat the last place team in the Eastern Conference, the Oilers will try to pick themselves up against the surging Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. It's the first of four home games for the club this week.

"I think some games hurt more than others," said Oilers winger Dustin Penner. "I think this game hurts more than the Chicago game.

"I think we were in this game moreso than we were the other night, so it stings."

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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