Senators sound the alarm

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

VANCOUVER — The Senators hope they only hit a bump on the road.

If not, this could be a rocky ride down the stretch.

The Senators picked up only 2-of-6 points on their Western Canada swing. In the midst of a stretch in which they play 6-of-7 on the road, they need to get back on track quickly following an ugly 5-1 loss to the Canucks Saturday.

While the Senators remain in good position to make the playoffs, a 1-4-1 record coming out of the Olympic break, their inability to score consistently and the lack of effort vs. the Canucks has set off alarm bells with the Maple Leafs headed to town Tuesday.

“We definitely want to start winning more. We can’t rest on laurels and what we did before the break,” said centre Jason Spezza, who scored the Senators’ lone goal Saturday. “It’s time to start peaking and getting ready for the playoffs. If we don’t watch it, teams are going to be coming pretty quick. This is definitely something we need to address.”

The Senators mustered only 14 shots on Roberto Luongo. Spezza scored on a great individual effort to tie it up 1-1 three minutes into the second period. Then it fell apart.

Coach Cory Clouston was a loss to explain the effort or lack thereof.

“I don’t know. It’s a good question. That’s as flat as we’ve come out in a long time. If you combine that with as intense as (the Canucks) came out (in their first home game since Jan. 27), that’s the end result you’re going to get.

“We thought we played well enough to come out (of the trip) with 4-of-6 points, but that doesn’t negate (Saturday’s) game. It was unacceptable to play like that and we need to start putting some wins together.”

On the trip, the Senators beat last-place Edmonton and played well enough to win in Calgary, but couldn’t beat goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.

The loss to the Canucks was downright embarrassing.

The Senators aren’t guaranteed a playoff spot. They came out of the break hoping to lock up home ice in the playoffs and top spot in the Northeast Division. That’s still the goal, but they have to get back to playing the way they were before the two-week hiatus.

Goals were coming easily last month. Now, they have to fight for everything.

“We played two good games (in Edmonton and Calgary), but it’s not encouraging the way we played (Saturday),” said Daniel Alfredsson. “I thought we were going in the right direction. Now, it’s a step back, so we’ve got to come back and get it back again.

“There’s not a lot of time left before the playoffs start and we’ve got to find our game.”

Mike Fisher said the Senators had “no excuse” for Saturday’s effort.

“We came out pretty flat and didn’t generate a whole lot,” said Fisher. “Give them credit, they played very well at home, they didn’t give us much offensively and outworked us most of the game. We didn’t show up. There was no excuse for it. We know we’ve got to be much better.

“We’ve just got to put this behind us. They looked good, but we didn’t stick to our game and play the way we can. It was frustrating and one we want to forget.”


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