Corvo a Senators killer

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

RALEIGH, N.C. -- This time, it was the Ottawa "Uh Oh" Senators.

Ridiculously undisciplined play was the primary reason Bryan Murray's team saw its winning streak stopped cold at three games yesterday.

Penalty killers were asked to work more than they have all season as the Senators were short-handed a season-high 10 times, with the Carolina Hurricanes converting three of those opportunities.

Former Senators defenceman Joe Corvo was the chief beneficiary, as it turned out.

Wearing the same No. 77 jersey once adhorned by former Cane blueliner Paul Coffey, Corvo scored his first career hat trick in the 5-1 Carolina victory before 18,680 at RBC Center.

"It was kind of a storybook ending," said Corvo, whose third goal, and 12th of the season, came with just over two minutes to play. "But it was just a game, and things worked out for me tonight."

They also worked out for Patrick Eaves, who was traded along with Corvo for Mike Commodore and Cory Stillman Feb. 11. Eaves scored his first goal with Carolina on one of the 32 shots his team had at Senators goalie Martin Gerber. Ottawa put just 17 pucks at Carolina's Cam Ward.

"It comes down to discipline, I think. Focus," said Gerber. "I didn't think it was there. You can't give a team like that that many chances. It just doesn't work. We've got to blame ourselves."

The Senators are now 6-8-3 since the trade, while the Canes are 12-3-1.

"(Corvo) had lots of opportunity, (the power play) is his role," said Murray. "He didn't do that for us, but we probably didn't get that many power plays in a game when he was with us. We know he can really shoot the puck and he did that."

The Senators extended their streak of scoring a power-play goal to four games when Dany Heatley tapped in his 36th of the season early during a first period 5-on-3 man-advantage. But rather than build on that with Cane Tuomo Ruutu still in the box, Ottawa let momentum slip.

The penalty killed, the Canes were given a couple of power plays next. Both times, they capitalized and both times, it was a former Senator sticking the dagger in and twisting.

Any hopes of squaring the score in the second were pretty much squashed by Ottawa taking five of the six minors in the period.

Carolina only scored once during the 20-minute segment -- during a rare even-strength moment at that -- to take a 3-1 lead into the final period.

"We got off to a good start, drew some penalties, but after that we don't handle the puck very well, we don't do a lot of good things and obviously we spent way too much time in the penalty box," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.

Murray reunited the Heatley-Jason Spezza-Alfredsson line in hopes of generating some offence in the third, but the Big Three failed to click.

"We sat in the penalty box, they were quicker than we were, and we took penalties as a result," said Murray. "They were more ready to play at the start of the game, it appeared."

With a bit less than 10 minutes to go, the Senators were given their first man advantage since the midway mark of the second. This time, the rusty power play didn't get any shots on goal and actually allowed the Canes two shorthanded breakaways.

The Senators will have today off, then return to practice tomorrow in preparation for Thursday's home game against the St. Louis Blues.


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