Winless so far on this road trip, the Senators are feeling the heat in the desert.
Ottawa wraps up its five-game road swing with games against the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday night and the Anaheim Ducks Sunday and is still looking for a victory after a 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Kings Thursday at the Staples Center.
The Senators’ road woes stretch back before this trip — the team hasn’t had a win away from Scotiabank Place in six attempts (0-5-1).
The club needs to get back on track, and it isn’t helping matters that goalie Brian Elliott is struggling. There is a chance that unproven Binghamton backup Mike Brodeur could get a start in the next two games.
With Pascal Leclaire out with a broken cheekbone, Elliott was asked to carry the load but has been shaky in net.
“(Goaltending) is an area of concern and we need to get Brian back on track,” Clouston told reporters in Phoenix. “By no means are we just throwing him under the bus, but he knows he has to be better. Right now, it just seems that he’s not real comfortable.”
Clouston is confident Elliott will snap out of his funk.
“We’ve got to get him back to the mindset that he wants the shots and he wants to make the big save and he wants to be there for the team. And, when we get his mind back in that frame of mind, he’ll be fine. Right now, he just seems to be not looking real comfortable in there and, hopefully, a little adversity will make him stronger.”
Elliott allowed six goals on only 24 shots against the Kings and failed to make the big saves when the Senators needed them most — especially after Ottawa fought back from a two-goal deficit in the second period.
“There’s a couple of goals where he was really back deep in the crease,” said Clouston.
“Generally, technically, he’s very sound and those are the areas you don’t have to concern yourself with. But, right now, there’s little glitches in his game. He’s just going to have to battle through it and turn a tough time into a positive for him.”
With Leclaire still likely three weeks away from returning, the Senators need Elliott to turn his game around quickly.
“As a team, we have to regroup, surround and support Brian and give him every opportunity to get back on track,” Clouston said.Spezza sputtering Senators coach Cory Clouston said the club needs to get more out of C Jason Spezza, who has only one goal and three assists in his last 13 games. Clouston wants to help Spezza, but said it’s up to his talented forward to figure things out. “Whatever the reason is (for the struggles), only he can answer that,” said Clouston. “Your teammates can help you out, but the bottom line is you have to analyze, obviously with our support, what you’re doing right and make the adjustments and the corrections.” Sens on TV The Senators announced Friday that Saturday night’s game will be shown to Centre Ice subscribers. A scoreboard feed from the arena will be synched with the Coyotes’ radio broadcast to do the telecast.