Sens slip sliding away

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

Ouch! That hurts.

The Senators went from ecstasy to agony in the last minute of last night's game against the Nashville Predators. After Daniel Alfredsson tied the score at 5-5 at 19:14, Martin Erat scored the winner for Nashville 23 seconds later.

"It's tough when you lose a game like that," said Alfredsson.

The Senators are suddenly desperately seeking a victory after losing their fifth straight last night in front of 19,583 spectators at Scotiabank Place. Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, Joe Corvo and Antoine Vermette also scored for the Senators.

"It's not just one thing. It's not just one person," said Senators coach John Paddock. "You give up six goals. It's pretty well a 20-man effort. It's not just one guy."

"I'm frustrated with coming from behind, almost from the start of the game. It's sort of beyond belief. To come back and tie the game so many times and give it back so quickly ... it's a lack of diligence, attention to detail ... you can describe it a lot of different ways."

To make matters worse, the Senators' injury list is growing. Defenceman Anton Volchenkov could be out for an extended period after leaving the game with a hand injury after blocking a shot on the first shift.

While the Senators are fortunate Christoph Schubert was able to slide back and play on the blueline, losing Volchenkov is costly. He logs a lot of minutes and is usually assigned the job of shutting down the top players in the league with Jaromir Jagr and the New York Rangers visiting tomorrow at 2 p.m.

Martin Gerber couldn't be blamed when defenceman Andrej Meszaros kicked the puck by him at 8:39 of the third for a goal that was credited to Martin Gelinas, but the club needed him to make some big stops. Suddenly, goaltending is an issue for the Senators.

'I HAVE TO DO A BETTER JOB'

"Anytime you give up six goals it's too much," said Gerber. "It doesn't matter how. I have to do a better job and give us a better chance to win."

For the 10th time in 24 games, the Senators were trailing after two periods. Gerber didn't get a whole lot of help from the guys in front of him, who were sloppy defensively.

Standing alone in the slot, all J.P. Dumont had to do was fire a rocket from the slot to give the Predators a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.

This came just moments after it looked the Senators were going to get out of their recent funk.

Before last night's game, Paddock talked a lot about getting secondary scoring.

The club has been relying on the top trio of Alfredsson, Heatley and Spezza to carry the weight and it has been difficult.

That might by why Vermette looked so relieved after he picked up a rebound of a Randy Robitaille shot to tie it 2-2 at 10:03 of the second. It was Vermette's first goal since Nov. 4 against Boston, ending a 10-game drought.

Five goals should be enough to win," said Vermette. "We are not doing the right things to win."

The Senators did lose five straight last year from Oct 28-Nov. 8, but the last time the Senators went winless in six games was Dec. 20-30, 2000 when they posted a record of 0-4-2 (two ties because the shootout didn't exist).


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