It seemed like the perfect opportunity to get Ray Emery work and confidence.
The Washington Capitals were in town last night. Pushovers. It was Worst vs. First.
Today, Emery is no closer to regaining his No. 1 status and he can thank the Senators for giving him no support.
The Senators came up flat in an ugly 4-1 loss to the Capitals at Scotiabank Place.
The Senators' club record winning streak shrieked to a stop after eight games as Ottawa's record fell to 13-2.
"I've got to make a couple of saves, but at the same time no one had their best effort," said Emery.
Asked to assess his own performance, Emery said: "So-so. Not good enough."
Emery, who faced 35 shots, can't take all the blame because only captain Daniel Alfredsson was able to solve Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig (who stopped 27).
"We weren't good enough in most areas, if not all areas," said Senators coach John Paddock. "When you're that, you're not going to win."
Viktor Kozlov had three points. Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin and Tomas Fleischmann also scored for the Caps, who halted a four-game losing skid.
"This could be turning point, not for the whole team but maybe for the young kids," said Caps coach Glen Hanlon.
It would have been different if the Senators hadn't hit three posts -- including one in the third period by Patrick Eaves -- or scored on any of their five power-play opportunities. They missed centre Jason Spezza, who was out for the fifth straight game with a groin injury.
"We didn't skate or make plays. We didn't seem to have the jump that we have in the past," said centre Mike Fisher. "We had some chances on Kolzig on those power-play opportunities, but we couldn't get a break. That was just not our best effort. We've got to try to learn from it."
The Senators were in unfamiliar territory when they found themselves trailing after 40 minutes for only the fourth time this season.
While Fleishmann's goal inside the post was good, it didn't look great on the replays. And it came only moments after Backstrom scored his first NHL goal off the back of Emery's head.
The Senators had a 5-on-3 advantage for more than a minute midway through the second, but couldn't score on three shots.
At one point, only two of the Caps' three skaters had sticks because David Steckl broke his.
"I don't know if it handed them momentum, but we had a chance to take control there and couldn't get it done," said Alfredsson. "If we score there, it's a different game."
The Senators lost defenceman Anton Volchenkov with a bruised right hip in the first. His status will be updated today.