Boos rain down on Sens

Ottawa Senators' Jason Spezza jumps out of the way of a shot as Colorado Avalanche goalie Jose...

Ottawa Senators' Jason Spezza jumps out of the way of a shot as Colorado Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore makes a save during first period action at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa on Thursday. (Ottawa Sun/Sean Kilpatrick)

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:04 AM ET

Jason Spezza is usually a sharp-dressed young man, but now he's acquired an unwanted fashion accessory.

A bull's eye.

The Senators' young centre has turned into the target for Senators fans' discontent in what can now officially be described as their club's horrendous start to this season, made official with last night's 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche before 17,728 at Scotiabank Place.

Heading into tomorrow night's game here against the New Jersey Devils, the Senators are without a win at home in four starts and are mired in the deepest funk since John Muckler became general manager in 2002.

They were pathetic at both ends of the ice last night, outfought for pucks in their own end and too slow to take advantage of their meagre chances at the other.

"That's what we deserve right now," Senators coach Bryan Murray said of the boos delivered by the fed-up Ottawa fans.

"I shouldn't say that. People get frustrated when you turn over the puck and don't win battles. You're going to get hammered when those things happen."

COSTLY TURNOVER

When Spezza turned the puck over during an Ottawa power play in the second period, leading to the Avs' second goal, he triggered an avalanche of boos from the crowd.

Spezza's back pass led to a break the other way for Colorado's Brad Richardson and his shot off the foot of Ottawa defenceman Andrej Meszaros found the net over the shoulder of Senators goaltender Martin Gerber late in the second for a 2-0 lead.

Colorado captain Joe Sakic had opened the scoring when he was allowed to stand in the middle of three Senators at the edge of the crease to stuff home a pass. The next time Spezza skated onto the ice for a faceoff in the Colorado zone, the boos rained down again.

After Spezza set up Dany Heatley for his first of the year at 9:45 of the third to make it 2-1, there were more boos mixed in with cheers.

"You never want to be booed, especially at home," said Spezza. "It's a little upsetting.

"It's frustrating. We want to win. Hopefully, we can turn things back on our side."

Not that Spezza was alone in deserving the wrath of the fans. The power play was 0-for-4, leaving it at an appalling 1-for-34 on the season (though defenceman Joe Corvo, playing his first game for the Senators, did show potential with couple of strong shots from the point).

The Avs were playing their third game in four nights and the Senators had been off since Saturday, but the Avalanche were by far the more energetic team.

The Senators' difficulty in scoring goals at home continued through the opening 40 minutes, running their string of scoreless periods to five in the wake of their 1-0 loss to the Calgary Flames a week ago. After the second period last night, the Senators had scored just three goals in the first 11 periods on Scotiabank Centre ice this season.

Not that the start to the game wasn't entertaining. Both teams directed 10 shots at the opposing goaltender and both Theodore and Gerber came up with some good stops to keep it scoreless.

Gerber's best might have been around the 15-minute mark of the period, when Colorado's Marek Svatos found himself alone on Gerber's doorstep. He wheeled and launched a rising backhander which Gerber took in the shoulder.

But with the Devils coming to the capital tomorrow night, this a Senators team looking like it needs some kind of shock treatment to snap its lethargy.


Videos

Photos