Clouston takes shot on goal

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

Brian Elliott got gunned down in his debut in the Battle of Ontario last night.

The Senators rookie goaltender didn't leave Scotiabank Place with great memories after Pavel Kubina's goal in OT as the club dropped a 4-3 decision to the archrival Maple Leafs in front of a packed house of 20,050.

While Daniel Alfredsson, Jarkko Ruutu and Ryan Shannon scored for the Senators, it wasn't enough to stop their losing ways. The club has now only won one of its last six games and that's a big reason why this team will look different after Wednesday's trade deadline.

Kubina, who sent the game to the extra period when he tied it up at 14:48 of the third, fired a shot from top of the circle by Elliott on the stick side only 33 seconds into the 4-on-4 session to give the Leafs the victory and hand the Senators their second straight loss.

"You don't want to say anything good or bad. I felt pretty good in there," said Elliott. "I was a little inconsistent on different goals, but I felt I was seeing the puck well and pretty good."

Senators coach Cory Clouston was more blunt in his assessment and he wasn't happy with Elliott's performance.

"He's going to have to show his character. He's battling some adversity and obviously there's a lot of pressure on him," said Clouston. "I guess what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger and that's what we hope right now."

Clouston said the Senators can't afford to have bad goaltending.

"He was inconsistent like the rest of the team. I thought he made some big saves when we broke down, but if you look at the goals that were allowed, he'd like to have some of them back," said Clouston. "The winning goal was a wrist shot that basically just got through somehow.

"We're not a good enough team to have one or two bad goals. We need everybody --from our goaltender out -- to be a lot more consistent."

Upset with the way the club started after spotting the Leafs a 2-0 lead in the first period, Clouston changed all the lines and moved Alfredsson to play with Mike Fisher and Nick Foligno.

It appeared Alfredsson's go-ahead goal 4:26 into the third period might result in the game winner.

"We almost put it away and then we don't," said Alfredsson. "We let them hang in there, then they get the power play, and then they tie it up. That's probably the difference."

With Spezza sent to the penalty box for a lazy hooking penalty -- his second of the game -- Kubina tied it up with a shot that Elliott should have had. He could see the puck clearly as Kubina beat him on the blocker side.

"It was maybe a little marginal. There were three power plays all night," said Spezza. "A lot of stuff gets let go. But I'm not the one making the calls. You don't want to take penalties, especially 200 feet away, but a lot of stuff was let go and I was surprised about that one."

With the trade deadline only three days away, there was plenty of buzz with Columbus GM Scott Howson in the building. The indication is he may have been here to watch Ottawa forwards Antoine Vermette and Chris Kelly and Toronto winger Nik Antropov.


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