Senators go down fighting
BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency
|Senators defenceman Matt Carkner checks Canucks forward Dale Weise at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ont., Dec. 10, 2011. (DARREN BROWN/QMI Agency)
OTTAWA - The Senators put up a fight in every aspect but where it counted the most: On the scoreboard.
The Senators went toe-to-toe with the Canucks Saturday night, battling them in every way, shape and form, but they couldn’t beat Roberto Luongo and the result was a 4-1 loss in front of 19,171 fans at Scotiabank Place.
Only winger Colin Greening was able to score on Luongo as the Senators dropped their third straight and fifth in six games in what can only be described as a tough, physical battle against last spring’s Stanley Cup runner-up.
Goalie Craig Anderson had a strong performance with 24 stops, but Ryan Kesler, with two, Dale Weise and Alex Edler scored as the Canucks got the win and left the Senators wondering what it will take to get on track.
“It wasn’t the outcome we wanted,” said Anderson. “We’ve got to take some positives out of this game and move forward. That’s the way this game is. There’s going to be nights where you’re not at your best and you’re going to lose some.
“We played really physical, we were taking the body and making good checks. We were playing the game we wanted to play. We just didn’t get the results on the scoreboard. We could have easily had a couple of more goals.”
The Senators had a great chance to get back in the game down 3-1 with a 5-on-3 power play for 1:19 early in the third period, but they managed very little pressure.
“Special teams was the difference. Their power play had two goals and we were 0-for-whatever with a chance to be in the game,” said Senators coach Paul MacLean. “That ends up being the final difference.
“We continued to play and we played hard against a really good team. We played physical, but there’s still areas of our game that have to get better.”
Physical is right. Chris Neil and Nick Foligno were throwing their weight around and were able to get under the Canucks’ skin. Though Foligno isn’t known for being a hitter, he delivered clean hits on Kesler and Cody Hodgson.
Foligno was given a minor and misconduct for his hit on Kesler in the second. That came after he caught Hodgson with his head down in the Vancouver zone in the first. Hodgson, who needed help getting off the ice, left the game and didn’t return.
“I need to bring that. I don’t think I’m expected to go out and fight every night, but they wanted redemption or whatever it was for that hit,” said Foligno, who fought Dale Weise on his next shift after the Hodgson hit.
Kesler gave the Canucks a 3-0 lead with his second of the night on the power play at 8:35 in the second period. Kesler scored his first at 8:23 after Edler opened the scoring on the first shot of the game.
“It was intense out there,” said Neil. “It’s tough when you don’t come out with the win. We had our chances on the power play and we weren’t able to capitalize. That’s the way it goes some nights. It wasn’t for lack of effort.”