Senators hit White out

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

ATLANTA -- Martin Gerber must have felt like the kid in Home Alone.

For a large portion of last night's game vs. the Thrashers, it appeared his hockey family went on Christmas holidays without him.

Gerber faced an Atlanta-franchise-tying 45 shots, almost half of which came in the first period, as the Senators' six-game winning streak was snapped in a 3-2 loss.

"I'm just disappointed. We didn't push hard and they came out hard," said Gerber.

"Going into the third (tied 2-2) it was a pretty good setup for us, being on the road. Then to allow a goal like that (on the power play) ... they just sat five back after that."

That winning goal was scored by ex-Senator Todd White, a Kanata native, on a deflection 47 seconds into the third with Chris Phillips serving a high-sticking penalty.

"We weren't skating well enough," said Dany Heatley. "At the same time, I thought Gerber played really well and kept us in the game.

"In the third period, we could have four or five goals," added Heatley, whose team outshot the Thrashers 14-10 in the final 20. "We hit some posts, (Thrashers goalie Kari) Lehtonen made some good saves ... we played desperate in the third."

Gerber was the difference in the first, stopping all 21 shots.

"The first period wasn't good, but it was a little deceiving. We had the scoring chances at 6-4 for us. I don't know if we were flat, but some guys weren't very good," said coach John Paddock.

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"Some guys here want ice time, more responsibility with guys being hurt. But they're not coming close to living up to it."

Ottawa managed just seven shots in the first, but did find the mesh.

Jason Spezza, scoring on his favourite option after being sent in alone by Randy Robitaille, gave Ottawa the lead at 5:43 of the first. The high-to-the-glove-side effort was Spezza's 11th of the season and sixth in five games.

The Senators killed a couple of Wade Redden penalties in the opening 20 and held on to the lead until the Thrashers' fourth line outworked Ottawa's and tied the game with Eric Boulton's third of the season in the second.

Daniel Alfredsson reached the 20-goal plateau for the eighth straight season to put the Senators ahead late in the second, but only after he was reunited on the top line.

"I had to put Alfredsson back with Heatley and Spezza," said Paddock. "There was no way he was getting a goal if I didn't. He wouldn't have got a scoring chance otherwise."

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his league-leading 28th of the season came just 46 seconds after Alfredsson's goal. It was the Russian superstar's seventh in four games this season vs. the Senators.

Chris Kelly summed up the Senators' performance: "It was not a great effort by us. The score might have been a lot worse if it wasn't for Gerbs. He kept us in the game.

"We can't rely on just one line to score every time out there. With (Mike Fisher) Fishy out, it's an opportunity for guys to get more responsibility, me being one of them. We have to capitalize on that."


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