Blast from Sens' power-play past

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

Trying to find some mojo for their power play, the Senators watched highlights from last season when it had a clue.

“A few lightbulbs went on,” said coach Cory Clouston.

Now if they can just turn on the lightbulb behind the opposition net.

The Senators are last in the NHL on the power play (1-for-15) and probably first in time spent practising it.

In preparation for Thursday's game against the Lightning, there was that video session before practice Wednesday and then players who work on the units took to the ice for about 20 minutes before they were joined by teammates.

“(The power play is) probably ... not probably,” said Clouston, correcting himself, “it is the worst area right now.”

The video session was a combination of the old and new, seeing what they did well last season with the man advantage and why they are struggling now.

“We went over the last 8-10 power plays and a lot of it is trying to do too much, instead of take a deep breath and calm down. We’re seeing guys trying to beat guys one-on-one. It’s unnecessary. Set it up and let it happen,” said Clouston.

The low of the season was a 5-on-3 for 87 seconds against the Penguins Monday night in which the only thing threatened was the fans’ patience.

The Senators worked yesterday on better entries into the zone and finding ways to use the penalty killers’ aggression against them to relieve pressure.

The Senators have missed injured defenceman Filip Kuba in all phases of the game, but especially on the power play. He missed practice again with a lower body injury and won’t play tonight.

Hear and there

Winger Alex Kovalev went back to Montreal Tuesday for a fundraising fashion show. How did the former Canadien perform on the catwalk? “I’m going to stick definitely with my night job,” he said. “You guys know I like to do different things away from hockey. I’ll do it once in a while for fun.” ... Carp’s Kurtis Foster is expected back in the Lightning lineup after missing the last couple of games with a lower-body injury. The blueliner is also expected to go back to manning the power-play point. Foster signed in July, after returning from a horrific crash into the boards that broke his left femur in March while he was with the Wild ... Senators D Anton Volchenkov’s big hits were getting notice as TSN worked on a feature. Clouston said he thinks Volchenkov has part of the battle won before the puck drop. “They know he finishes his checks, so it’s in the backs of their heads before the game even starts,” said Clouston. “Maybe they try and stay away from his side.” Volchenkov hits and is hit. He was second in the league in blocked shots with 17 heading into Thursday's games.

Country Kudos

One of the players who has stepped up in the absence of D Filip Kuba has been 28-year-old rookie Matt “Big Country” Carkner. “In the last game, he matched up against (Evgeni) Malkin for the most part and if you said that a year ago, nobody would have believed us,” said coach Cory Clouston. “Give credit to him. He’s worked hard.”

In and (still) out

Clouston said rookie C Peter Regin (upper-body injury) will likely be available tonight depending on how he came through yesterday’s practice ... F Jesse Winchester (knee) took part in the workout, but likely won’t be ready until the weekend ... Kuba (lower body) still isn’t practising. He’s missed the last four games.

Aw, Shootouts!

The Lightning are likely not looking forward to the possibility of a shootout. The team was 3-10 last season and dropped both its shootouts this season. “It’s a little mental right now,” said coach Rick Tocchet ... Lightning shooters are 1-for-5 in the shootout this season, while G Mike Smith has allowed four goals on five shots ... The Senators aren’t much better — 11-23 all-time in the shootout.

Injuries

Senators: Kuba, day-to-day; Winchester, day-to-day.

Lightning: Smith (back), expected to start; D David Hale (flu), day-to-day; D Kurtis Foster (lower body), expected to play.


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