BOSTON -- Craig Hartsburg accused his best players of costing the Senators the game last night.
At this rate, it won't be long before they cost him his job.
Following a 6-4 loss to the Bruins, Hartsburg took direct aim at his top players after the Senators fought back from a two-goal deficit only to find a way to lose ... again.
The Senators limped home with just three of a possible 16 points on their eight-game road trip (1-6-1) after captain Daniel Alfredsson handed the puck to Boston centre David Krejci to allow a decisive go-ahead goal midway through the third period. Then, four mintues later, Jason Spezza was knocked off the puck by Chuck Kobasew, who set up Marc Savard with what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
"Those guys cost us the game," said Hartsburg. "You try to trust your good players and those guys cost us the game."
Just a day after owner Eugene Melnyk issued a statement indicating he hasn't made a decision on the futures of GM Bryan Murray and Hartsburg, the Senators might have sealed their fates.
The Senators, who got goals from Brendan Bell, Antoine Vermette, Chris Phillips and Chris Kelly, tumbled to 13th spot in the Eastern Conference standings after the Thrashers beat New Jersey 4-0 last night.
Alfredsson didn't dispute Hartsburg.
"That's an understatement. It's an awful feeling for everybody because this is a game that can get us going," said Alfredsson. "We're playing a really good team and we didn't start very well, but we battled back to tie. I make one move and try to make another and they score the winner.
"It's my fault. I'm trying to do too much. It was awful because everybody worked really hard and battled."
The Senators lost defenceman Brian Lee after his first shift with what the team said was the flu. Winger Nick Foligno, meanwhile, slammed headfirst into the boards after getting tangled up with Boston defenceman Mark Stuart in the second period. Foligno returned briefly in the third, but then left for the night.
For one of the few times times this season, the Senators showed some resilience. Down 3-1 after a goal by Michael Ryder, Bell and Kelly scored to help the club tie it up 3-3 as the Senators outshot the Bruins 22-12 through 40 minutes.
In the first period, after the Bruins took a 2-0 lead, Senators winger Chris Neil decided to try to get the Ottawa bench going by taking on Boston's Shawn Thornton at 8:47.
It was a superb fight and seemed to light a fire on the Ottawa bench, as 3 1/2 minutes later, Phillips picked up his third goal of the season when he fired a shot from the point that Boston goalie Manny Fernandez couldn't see with Dany Heatley falling in front of him.
From there, the Senators were down 2-1, but controlled the play and had the Bruins on their heels for the rest of the period.