Tough loss for Sens

Senators winger Alex Kovalev is stopped by New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in the shootout...

Senators winger Alex Kovalev is stopped by New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in the shootout during yesterday afternoon's game at Scotiabank Place. (TONY CALDWELL/Sun Media)

CHRIS STEVENSON Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson could see it coming together.

The puck, his stick — the game— all converging at the open side of the net to the right of New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

“I thought I had it right there,” said Alfredsson of his chance to win the game in the last seconds of overtime with the Senators on the power play. A shot by Ottawa’s Jason Spezza had caromed off the backboards and come spinning out the other side.

“I saw it coming and I thought I had it, but it took a wicked bounce over my stick. Never touched it.”

That was the Senators’ last great chance to win it.

As soon as it got to a shootout — given the Senators were 12-24 all-time in shootouts — you knew the odds were against them.

They took it to seven rounds, but the Rangers prevailed 2-1 at Scotiabank Place in front of 17,561 fans.

A better effort from the Senators than in Thursday night’s capitulation to the Philadelphia Flyers (you would hope so), backed by some solid goaltending by Brian Elliott, who started over a struggling Pascal Leclaire, but, in the end, another loss to a team ahead of them in the standings.

Not the best way to start a five-game homestand against quality opponents (okay, mostly quality opponents; the Toronto Maple Leafs are here Tuesday).

The shootout ended after New York’s P.A. Parenteau — playing just his eighth NHL game —beat Elliott to the glove side and Lundqvist turned back a deke to the backhand by Ottawa’s Milan Michalek.

“If we continue to play like that, the wins will come,” said Senators coach Cory Clouston, whose team is now 8-6-3 after winning only three of its last 10 games.

Maybe so, but a power-play goal here and there would sure help. The Senators have only one in their last four games, in eight chances.

“We’re playing pretty good here. I wouldn’t change the way we are going,” said Alfredsson. “We’re just not finding ways to win. We’re putting ourselves in great positions, but not coming through. We need to get a little confidence and get on a roll.”

The Senators had been grumbling about the paucity of power plays they were being granted by the officials after they had only three man-advantage situations in their previous three games.

They got their chances yesterday — including that power-play in overtime — but went 0-for-5 on the day and worse, they wound up minus-1 on the day. The Rangers’ lone goal in regulation came when ex-Senator Vaclav Prospal tied the game 1-1 with a shortie half way through the second period, converting a great feed off a 2-on-1 by Marian Gaborik.

The Senators had taken the lead on defenceman Brian Lee’s second goal of the season, created by a great screen by forward Chris Kelly at 4:29 of the second.

“I thought both penalty kills were outstanding (yesterday),” said Clouston. “When the goaltender is very solid, it gives you the confidence to be aggressive at the right times.”

No kill was bigger than the one by the Rangers in overtime. New York’s Ryan Callahan was a stud, dropping to block a couple of shots. It was a great performance by the Rangers who were without key faceoff guys and penalty killers Chris Drury and Brandon Dubinsky (there’s no better way to start a penalty kill than by winning the faceoff.)

“Without those guys, we found a way to kill off the penalties. That 4-on-3 at the end (of overtime) was huge with the type of people they had on the ice,” said Rangers coach John Tortorella. “It was big for us and got us two points.”

The Senators looked like they had a little more cohesion on the power play yesterday, but the bottom line is they couldn’t score against a team missing two of its top penalty killers.

“I don’t think we got enough shots,” said Alfredsson. “We had a few in overtime, but they blocked them all. We’ve got to find a way to get the puck to the net. We got it set up and moved it around, but we couldn’t get it to the net.”


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