Switch backfires on Sens

Boston Bruins' Marco Sturm takes a shot on Ottawa Senators goaltender Pascal Leclaire....

Boston Bruins' Marco Sturm takes a shot on Ottawa Senators goaltender Pascal Leclaire. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 11:26 AM ET

OTTAWA -- Cory Clouston was forced to play Dr. Hook ... again.

Clouston stole a page out of Mike Keenan's book and yanked the Senators' starting goalie for the second straight game in a 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins at Scotiabank Place on Tuesday.

The Senators coach started backup Brian Elliott, who was gone only 13:45 into the first period after giving up four goals on 13 shots. He was replaced by Pascal Leclaire, who was removed after giving up three goals on 10 shots Sunday in a 7-4 win over Philadelphia.

"Not a good (start). Puck off skate. Pretty tough to play these guys when you give up that kind of a lead," said Clouston.

"We didn't have any time to get our feet underneath us. The next thing you know it's 2-0 and it takes a while to recover. They pushed hard, but it's very difficult when they have that kind of a lead."

"You can't really let it bother you, it's a tough break. You make your own breaks. We've got to do that at the other end," said Elliott.

And while the Senators were struggling in net, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas continued his mastery over Ottawa. Thomas, who hasn't lost a game to the Senators since Nov. 4, 2007, picked up his 11th straight victory.

He wasn't tested a lot as Filip Kuba scored the only goal for Ottawa.

Wrapping up a five-game homestand, the Senators will now play 6-of-7 on the road.

Blake Wheeler had a three-point effort for the Bruins, while Mark Recchi, David Krejci and Johnny Boychuk all chipped in with two points as Boston won its fourth straight over Ottawa this season.

In the third period, Leclaire was knocked to the ice after getting bowled over by Wheeler, but after medical attention he finished the game.

It's the third time in seven games Clouston has made a goaltending change.

"That was a brutal first period. We didn't do much right," said Ottawa centre Mike Fisher. "We got a little bit better, but we didn't have much in the way of chances.

"We didn't come ready to play and it showed. That's got to come from everyone, not just our goaltending. We've got to make sure we're all ready to play."

Many observers were surprised Elliott, who hadn't started since a 2-1 loss to the Bruins on Dec. 21, was in the net. Clouston said he wanted to give Leclaire a rest after six straight starts, but it didn't work out.

Not only did Elliott commit the ultimate no-no by allowing the Bruins to open the scoring on their first shot, he didn't stop much after that, only minutes after being presented the Senators' Molson Cup for December.

He was beaten from just about everywhere. The icing on the cake was his inability to grab a bounce off the boards that allowed Recchi to give the Bruins a 4-0 lead.

The Senators weren't giving Thomas a whole lot to think about because he didn't face a shot until Alex Kovalev was able to hit the net on the power play with 12:04 remaining in the first.

"Once you're down four goals against a team like Boston, it's definitely tough to come back," said defenceman Matt Carkner, who fought Shawn Thornton and scuffled with Zdeno Chara.

The Senators face the Capitals Thursday in Washington.


Videos

Photos