Senators shooting blanks

Ottawa Senators' Dany Heatley tries to get a puck in front of the net while trailed by Calgary...

Ottawa Senators' Dany Heatley tries to get a puck in front of the net while trailed by Calgary Flames' Dion Phaneuf during first period action at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa on Thursday night. (Ottawa Sun/Blair Gable)

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

The way it was going, it just looked like one goal would be enough. Unfortunately for the Senators, it was.

The Senators' losing streak grew to three games -- all on home ice -- last night and the soul-searching will continue after a hard-hitting, 1-0 loss to the Calgary Flames in front of a well-entertained crowd of 18,404 at Scotiabank Place.

The Senators or their fans couldn't fault the goaltending in this one as Ray Emery, making his first start of the season, went toe-to-toe with Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff.

It took a funny bounce for the winner as Calgary's Jarome Iginla, taking his share of heat in Calgary for the Flames' slow start, whipped home a backhander at 11:25 of the third. So this morning it is the Flames (2-2-0) issuing at least a small sigh of relief while the Senators (1-3-0) will face more questions.

"We matched them pound for pound in hits and in effort," said Senators centre Jason Spezza, "but we didn't match them in goals. It'd be nice to get one quick in the next game."

The only goal came after Ottawa's Mike Fisher hooked Calgary's Kristian Huselius as he cut across the slot. The hook made Huselius miss his shot with the puck finding Iginla to Emery's right.

Emery's performance -- he made 27 saves -- was certainly good enough to earn him strong consideration for a repeat performance tomorrow night in Montreal.

"We said all along he was going to play some games," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "Now it's likely we're looking at him fairly quickly."

Kiprusoff made 28 saves, including a couple of big stops down the stretch as the Senators were handed a couple of power plays in the final five minutes.

The power play remains the most glaring of the Senators' weaknesses in this early season, now sitting at a pathetic 1-for-25 after an 0-for-6 whitewash last night.

"We put the puck to the net and we got some screens," said Spezza. "It just didn't seem to want to go in for us."

The two teams combined for 44 hits with Calgary defenceman Dion Phaneuf leading the way with five.

Senators winger Chris Neil responded with six hits, a couple on Phaneuf.

"I said (yesterday) morning our best players had to be our best players and they were the difference," said Calgary head coach Jim Playfair. "Kiprusoff played great. Jarome scored the big goal and our penalty killers did a good job."

The Flames found the formula to get out of their funk.

Over to you, Senators.


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