Hasek: 'It's frustrating'

Senators goaltender Dominik Hasek holds down San Jose Sharks' Nils Ekman last night at the Corel...

Senators goaltender Dominik Hasek holds down San Jose Sharks' Nils Ekman last night at the Corel Centre. (Ottawa Sun/Tony Caldwell)

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

Dominik Hasek has seen enough.

The frustrated Senators goaltender sounded the alarm for his teammates last night after their 2-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks at the Corel Centre.

"They worked harder than we did, I think," said Hasek. "If we don't score five or six goals, we probably don't win the game. It's important to be able to win games 3-1 and 3-2. In the playoffs, the games are going to be close.

"It's frustrating. We have to find a way to win these close games. I don't know the reason, but part of it has to be mental. After the first half of the season, I don't remember winning a game 2-1 or 3-2. I'd like to see us win 10 of those games by now. It makes the team stronger to know you can win these close games."

Hasek's point is backed up by the stats: The Senators, who have led the league for most of the season, are just 5-6 in one-goal games and, after last night, are just 11-10 in two-goal games. They are 18-3 in three-goal games.

The Sharks, meanwhile, aren't a playoff team right now, but you would have a hard time convincing the Senators of that after last night.

The Sharks took advantage of a couple of Senators turnovers in the swan song for the Corel Centre name and showed they will be a force in the Western Conference come April.

It would have been a lot worse, if not for a few big saves by Hasek in front of 19,538 -- with many booing the Senators' lack of production.

The Sharks, now 8-0 against Eastern Conference teams, got goals from Patrick Marleau, on a breakaway, and Nils Ekman, the latter coming off a wonderfully executed 2-on-1 early in the third period with big Joe Thornton.

PICKED OFF ALFIE'S PASS

Marleau's winner came when he picked off a pass by Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and broke away halfway through the second.

Alfredsson, the hero in his return from a broken rib with four points against Phoenix on Tuesday night, couldn't catch Marleau.

"He was in the shadow of our other defenceman. I didn't see him. Once I saw him, I knew the chances of catching him were not good," said Alfredsson. "That's the wrong guy to give it to."

Marleau is one of the quickest big men in the league. He moved in on Hasek and roofed his 18th goal.

The Senators' power play, which had hummed along against Phoenix, couldn't do anything last night (0-for-6).

"Some of our guys over-tried," said Senators coach Bryan Murray.

The Sharks are now 13-4-1 since the deal which brought Thornton over from the Boston Bruins at the beginning of December.

The Senators, who have had their hands full with the league's better teams this season, didn't get much in the way of second chances against Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov as they lost for just the fourth time this season on home ice (17-4).

The Senators are off to Edmonton today to face the Oilers tomorrow night.


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