Senators in sink

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:10 PM ET

What started out as a dream season for the Senators is getting close to being their worst nightmare.

After getting off to a record- setting 15-2 start, the Senators are facing the real possibility of missing the playoffs after losing 3-0 to the Montreal Canadiens in front of 20,326 at Scotiabank Place last night.

It's hard to believe it has come to this, but the Senators are falling apart at the seams. Montreal goalie Carey Price was strong with 32 stops, but he didn't have to be a worldbeater.

"We're under the gun. We've got to give it everything we've got. We've got to win," said Senators centre Mike Fisher.

"We just have to stay positive. We can't pout or feel for ourselves," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.

Some will point the finger at Martin Gerber for not making the big stops, but the Senators have now been shut out in back-to-back games.

So much for the league's highest-scoring team. Ottawa went 0-for-7 on the power play against Montreal and hasn't scored in a span of 141:02. Ottawa last scored at 3:58 of the third in last Thursday's 4-3 shootout loss to Buffalo.

Unless the Senators can get it together by securing three of four points in the final two games, the Senators may suffer one of the worst collapses in NHL history.

BRUINS, FLYERS IN CHASE

If Ottawa doesn't beat the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow night, the defending Eastern Conference champs will be forced to rely on scoreboard watching and mathematics after the Washington Capitals (90) pulled within two points of Ottawa (92) with a 4-1 win over Carolina last night.

Yes, the Boston Bruins (91) and Philadelphia Flyers (91), could both still falter, but they have a game in hand. The possibility exists that the Hurricanes (90) could get overtaken by the Caps for the Southeast title and end up getting knocked out. The line of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Alfredsson, which has run roughshod over the Habs all season, was a non-factor.

Midway through the second, the Senators had fired just seven shots on Price. They made him work hard and come up with big saves in the final 30 minutes, but Andrei Kostitsyn put it away at 11:22.

The Senators look like they're nervous and they should be.

Spezza tried to light a fire under the club when he dropped the gloves for a short bout with Andrei Markov with 10 seconds left in the first, but nothing was working.

Now what? After taking on the Leafs, the Senators host the Boston Bruins on Friday.


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