Non-goal stirs up Clouston

BRUCE GARRIOCH, Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:22 PM ET

VANCOUVER — Cory Clouston had something to get off his chest.

The Senators coach was still miffed Friday about Milan Michalek’s disallowed goal vs. the Flames Thursday in Calgary.

Clouston can’t understand why Michalek’s marker in the first period was called back because of a high stick.

“It’s frustrating and disappointing,” said Clouston. “In my opinion, unless Milan is eight feet tall, where the puck touched his stick and with his feet flat on the ground, it had to have been no more than three feet off of the ice. His feet were planted on the ice, his arms were tight to his body and it hit lower on the shaft of his stick.

“You don’t have to have any angle, other than to see where his feet are and where the puck hit his stick, to know there’s no way it could have been over the crossbar.”

Michalek tipped a point shot from defenceman Erik Karlsson by Miikka Kiprusoff at 7:36 of the first with the Flames leading 1-0 on a goal by Jamal Mayers.

One of the refs — either Tom Kowal or Rob Martel — waved it off immediately.

The play went to video review, but the word from the league’s head office in Toronto is the NHL didn’t have the proper tape to overrule the call made by the official. That meant his call has to stand.

“There’s not a whole lot (to do). I mean, it’s just sour grapes and that’s what it ends up becoming. It’s over and done with. What can you do about it right now?” asked Clouston.

Michalek maintained it wasn’t a high stick.

“I thought it was a goal, not a high stick,” said Michalek.

The Senators need every goal they can get these days. They were scoring with ease before the Olympic break, but lately they’ve been hard to come by. They scored four against the Oilers Tuesday, but have just seven goals in their last five games.

If the Senators weren’t getting chances, then Clouston would be fretting, but that hasn’t been the case.

Ottawa had plenty of chances against Kiprusoff. Centre Peter Regin had two glorious opportunities —including hitting the crossbar in the third period. Centre Mike Fisher missed on a breakaway attempt in the first.

“The last few games, we’ve played pretty well. We’re getting there. We competed well (against Calgary), we just didn’t bury some of our chances. We’ve just got to continue to compete and play hard,” said Fisher. “All these games are so hard right now because teams are fighting for their lives. It’s not going to be easy in the last 14 games.”

Clouston said he has no issue with the team’s effort.

“We’re playing hard, we’re playing well, we just aren’t scoring,” said Clouston. “I don’t know what else to tell you: We’ve hit posts, we’ve had disallowed goals. Sometimes you go through stretches.”

On the mend

The Senators could have C Chris Kelly back from his lower-body injury against the Canucks. He skated in the warmup Thursday in Calgary, but was a late scratch. “He’s possible,” said coach Cory Clouston. Meanwhile, the Senators expect to be greeted by a healthy W Nick Foligno and possibly D Filip Kuba when they return to practice Monday in Ottawa. Both have been skating with assistant coach Luke Richardson and are feeling much better.

This ’N’ that

The Senators scored a 3-1 victory over the Canucks on Feb. 4 at Scotiabank Place. The win was Ottawa’s 11th straight and set a franchise record for consecutive victories ... Vancouver D Kevin Bieksa has returned to practice and could suit up against the Senators. He has missed 25 games with an ankle injury.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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