Sens search for answers

Ottawa Senators coach Bryan Murray will evaluate the club's injury list today, but Jason Spezza was...

Ottawa Senators coach Bryan Murray will evaluate the club's injury list today, but Jason Spezza was troubled by a sore shoulder after getting hit by Boston's Andrew Alberts over the weekend. (Ottawa Sun File/Sean Kilpatrick)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

Senators coach Bryan Murray gave his battered and beleaguered team the day off yesterday.

Tonight, they'll try to get their act together.

After bringing home only three of a possible eight points on a four-game road trip last week, the Senators return to Scotiabank Place tonight to face the Canadiens.

Coming off a 4-3 loss to the Bruins on Saturday at TD Banknorth Garden, the Senators are trying to come up with answers for what it's going to take to get out of their funk.

Senators GM John Muckler, who has been working the phone to see who might be available via a trade, has insisted the answers must come from within and that it had better happen soon.

BAD MISTAKES

Yes, the Senators had a 6-3 win in Pittsburgh on Friday, but they've lost six of their last seven. Mistakes -- like the bad clear by defenceman Andrej Meszaros on the winning goal by Boston's Patrice Bergeron on Saturday -- in their own zone and inadequate goaltending by Martin Gerber have turned out to be costly.

"The guys start to shake their heads when we get late in games," a frustrated Murray said following the loss in Boston. "You can see the pressure that they are under. They don't do the same things they should be doing."

The Senators, who have a busy schedule with 15 games this month, aren't completely healthy, either.

Murray will evaluate the club's injury list today, but Jason Spezza was troubled by a sore shoulder after getting hit by Boston's Andrew Alberts in the second period Saturday. Spezza, however, didn't miss any playing time. Defenceman Wade Redden, meanwhile, continues to be hampered by a sore groin.

Nobody was scheduled to skate yesterday, which means goaltender Ray Emery (troubled by a forearm sprain) likely won't be in the net tonight against the Habs.

That said, Murray is glad the Senators are going back to work right away.

"I hope it's good (the Senators play tonight). I hope everybody comes out of (the Boston game) okay. If we're healthy, it's a good thing," said Murray. "If we just keep playing, and I know we've got a lot of games, to get back on the ice and play (tonight) is a good thing."

A major issue continues to be the power play. Spezza scored with the man advantage in the second period, but the club went 1-for-7 and created few chances against Boston.

Some credit has to go to the Bruins for putting pressure on Ottawa, but the Senators are the only team in the league without a goal on the power play in the third period.

SEASON-LONG 'NEMESIS'

Ottawa had three chances with the man advantage against Boston in the third and should have capitalized to get back into the game.

"We have to find a way to make better results on the power play," said Murray. "That has been our nemesis almost since the first of the year. It keeps putting us in a hole."

He is also frustrated by the fact the club gave away points in Washington, Atlanta and Boston.

"This trip has certainly cost us three more points without a doubt," said Murray before the club made its way home. "It doesn't mean anything now."


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