B's punch out Senators

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

BOSTON -- Senators playoff tickets went on sale yesterday at Scotiabank Place, but they had better come with a money back guarantee.

The Senators haven't booked their own ticket to the big dance yet.

Missing the playoffs would have seemed impossible after the Senators got off to a terrific 15-2 start, but they've opened the door to that frightening possibility after dropping a 4-0 decision yesterday to the undermanned Bruins at the TD BankNorth Garden.

The Senators were so concerned with how horrible they looked with only three games left in the season, they held a 15-minute players only meeting to talk about the fact they need to get their act together, starting with Tuesday's visit by the Canadiens.

SNOWBALL EFFECT

"It just seems like it's just been a snowball, that everyone in here felt that we were going to get a hold of," said Senators defenceman Chris Phillips. "It's just kept rolling and rolling and it's gotten tougher and tougher. You look at the standings now and the outcomes the last little while, hopefully that snowball hits a brick wall."

But yesterday's loss was alarming. The Senators dropped their second straight and have just two victories in seven games as the Bruins moved within two points of Ottawa for the No. 5 spot in the Eastern Conference.

It may be a long shot for the ninth-place Capitals to catch the Senators for the final playoff position, but don't forget Washington would win the tie-breaker because it won all four games vs. Ottawa this season.

Yesterday, Boston goalie Tim Thomas had to make a couple of good stops among the 34 shots he faced, but the Senators didn't generate much in the way of chances.

"Not only the top line, a number of the guys have to play harder and have to do more with the puck. We can't win if our good players don't lead the way," Ottawa coach and GM Bryan Murray said. "A majority of the guys understand, and they are competing, but in (the Boston) zone and the corners we certainly got outbattled. We couldn't recover the puck often enough to create scoring chances and that was the disappointing part for me.

"The guys understand the urgency and the fact we have to win some hockey games. Not only win for points, you have to win for yourself. That will give us a bit of a confidence level."

The Senators hope their meeting leads to some changes.

"Nobody was happy with the outcome and (they talked) about how we can get this turned towards a better direction," said captain Daniel Alfredsson, who was minus-3. "(Missing the playoffs) is a possibility. We know if we lose all three, we might be out and then we don't deserve to be there any way.

"We gotta try to win two out of three any way and try to get some momentum before the playoffs start."

After the Bruins took a 2-0 lead on goals by P.J. Axelsson and Marco Sturm, the Senators just laid down. Shane Hnidy and David Krejci salted it away late in the third period, but the issue had already long been decided.

"We had a great first period and we come out in the second and third and we're flat," said Senators winger Chris Neil. "It's disappointing. We didn't have any energy."


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