Power outage for Senators

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

It was tough to tell what was colder yesterday: A) The first slap of winter; or B) The Senators' power play.

The Carolina Hurricanes took down the Senators 2-1 last night at the Corel Centre and have now handed the Senators two of their three losses this season.

It wasn't hard to figure out why this one went the way it did.

The power play, guilty of over-handling the puck, went 0-for-8 last night and is now just 1-for-23 in the last three games.

"We were trying to make pretty plays, passes across the box," said Senators defenceman Wade Redden. "We have the ability to do it, but sometimes the ugly ones count, too. When things aren't going well, you've got to get those kinds of goals."

Senators coach Bryan Murray agreed.

"It's really disappointing," he said of the power play's performance. "We had a lot of chances and one group tried to finesse the puck ... rather than getting traffic at the net. We have to learn to get some dirty goals."

SPEEDY HURRICANES

The Senators had been getting away with a sputtering power play lately because of their strong 5-on-5 play. But last night they met their match in the speedy and hard-working Hurricanes and couldn't beat Carolina goaltender Martin Gerber -- again. Gerber was also brilliant in the third period of Carolina's 3-2 win over the Senators Oct. 24 in Raleigh.

Down 2-0 last night, the Senators got a spark in the third when captain Daniel Alfredsson scored his 16th goal of the season at 3:55. It was the 600th point of his NHL career and the Corel Centre was filled with its first emotion of the night as the crowd of 19,544 gave him a standing ovation.

Alfredsson acknowledged the crowd with a wave.

A 5-on-3 advantage came shortly after that, but the Senators couldn't even muster up a good chance. They also couldn't capitalize on a power play with three minutes to go.

"That 5-on-3 was a real good chance to get the momentum and maybe the win," said Alfredsson. "I had it teed up twice and missed the net. If you don't hit the net, you're not going to score.

'CAN DO BETTER'

"We lost and we had our chances. Sometimes it's not good to analyze it too much. We're doing good. We're not too far off. We know we can do better."

The 'Canes, meanwhile, nursed their lead, built on a power-play goal from Ray Whitney 12 seconds into the second period after it looked like Carolina's Justin Williams knocked the puck out of the air with a high stick.

Then, seconds after a pair of big kills, Carolina made it 2-0 with 41.2 seconds left in the second on defenceman Mike Commodore's seeing-eye shot from the point.

"For us, this is huge," said Gerber, who made 35 saves. "Ottawa is the best team in the East. They are such a strong team and we aren't taking anything for granted just because we have two wins against them. This is a big challenge and we felt good about it."

The Senators face former coach Jacques Martin and the Florida Panthers tomorrow night as the homestand continues.


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