Sen has minus touch

Ottawa Senators' Ray Emery stops a shot by Atlanta Thrashers' Jon Sim during second period action...

Ottawa Senators' Ray Emery stops a shot by Atlanta Thrashers' Jon Sim during second period action at Scotiabank Place on New Year's Day. (Ottawa Sun/Blair Gable)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

Joe Corvo wasn't making any excuses.

After Slava Kozlov pushed the winning goal past Ray Emery, the Senators defenceman lay on the ice in stunned disbelief.

Just when it looked like the Senators might pull another one out of the hat, Kozlov scored the winner, his second goal of the game, at 1:48 of overtime to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 3-2 victory in front of 19,707 spectators yesterday at Scotiabank Place.

With Ottawa seeking a fourth straight win, Corvo tried to pull down Kozlov, but the slick Atlanta winger doesn't often miss those chances.

Senators coach Bryan Murray said Kozlov crosschecked Corvo to get positioning, but he felt his defenceman made an error in judgement.

"That's typical of what's gone on with me and defence all year long," said Corvo, who is minus-11 in 36 games. "I'm trying to get back into position and there's no way I could have.

"What can you say? It's the way it's been going all year. It's showing I must be a defensive liability. I'm minus here and minus there. I can't be a plus.

"The only time I'm really confident out there is on the power play. I guess I got to start building somewhere.

"For sure, (it's going to bother him), if you know me as a person, you know it's going to be hard for me to bounce back from something like that. I tried to trip (Kozlov), but he did his best to hold me back. If I trip him, I'm sure they'll call a penalty shot, so, whatever."

The Senators coach said he wished Corvo had succeeded with the trip.

"I wish he had tripped him," said Murray. "If you're going to do that, you might as well go all the way."

Ilya Kovalchuk also scored for the Thrashers while former Senators winger Marian Hossa had three assists.

"He just showed why he's the best player in the league," said Atlanta coach Bob Hartley.

But, for the most part, the shorthanded Senators were pleased with the effort. They picked up an important point, with Tom Preissing's power-play goal at 16:05 of the third period sending it into OT.

Daniel Alfredsson opened the scoring for Ottawa 51 seconds into the second, beating Atlanta goalie Kari Lehtonen through the five hole.

"I just thought we played pretty well as a team," said Senators defenceman Wade Redden. "They're pretty talented and they do a lot of good things out there. I'm pretty sure if we have that kind of effort a lot of nights, we're going to win a lot of games."

RIPPING THE REFS

The Senators were not happy with the officials Greg Kimmerly and Don VanMassenhoven. Centre Chris Kelly took two high sticks in the face and neither was called, which left Murray fuming.

"It's frustrating because you know the calls are going to come and go," said Murray. "The high sticking is the big thing ... Kelly gets high sticked, he's on his knees and four guys say they didn't see it and then (Kozlov) goes down and scores (the first goal). That's the way it goes. We understand, but we don't understand."


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