Sens need to take next step

Ottawa Senators' Mike Fisher celebrates his goal against the Maple Leafs with Erik Karlsson and...

Ottawa Senators' Mike Fisher celebrates his goal against the Maple Leafs with Erik Karlsson and Filip Kuba. (REUTERS/Blair Gable)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:46 PM ET

The Senators will continue their search for consistency Monday at Scotiabank Place.

Coming off a 3-0 shutout of the Maple Leafs at home, the Senators had Sunday off to rest and get ready for Game 2 of what’s going to be an important homestand, which wraps up Saturday vs. Buffalo.

While the Oilers are the NHL’s worst team with only six victories in 22 games, the Senators are only concerned about getting back to .500 and starting to play the kind of hockey they’ve expected all year.

The Senators hope the victory over the Leafs was a major step in the right direction.

“(Consistency is) what we’re striving for: When we play well, we’re a really good team and when we’re not playing well, we’re really bad,” said centre Mike Fisher, who had two goals and an assist vs. Toronto.

“We’re not going to win every night, but you can give yourself a chance to be in there and create opportunities. We have to make sure we’re all in the game, competing and working for something.”

Fisher has been a poster-boy for the issues. He had only one goal in 11 games before Saturday’s game. He has been playing hurt, but didn’t want to come out of the lineup to rest.

Fisher said he is feeling better and hopes the undisclosed problem is behind him.

“We were winning and I felt like I could contribute. I was stubborn and I just wanted to continue to play,” said Fisher. “When you’re playing every day, you know eventually it’s going to get better. It may have gotten a bit better sooner (if he didn’t play).

“It’s been getting stronger and it’s been getting pretty close. It’s been slow and there have been times it’s been so frustrating I wondered if it would ever come (around). If you can shoot and feel comfortable (that’s important). I’ve got to continue to get more involved and be comfortable with it.”

Many Senators have gone through bouts with inconsistency. That’s why they hope they can put together more nights like they did against Toronto, especially as the schedule gets tougher.

“It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the first 20-plus games,” said centre Chris Kelly. “I thought it was a consistent effort by everyone (against the Leafs) for a solid 60 minutes.”

LOOSE PUCKS

Former Senators G Martin Gerber could be in the net for the Oilers. He made 37 stops in his Oilers debut in a 3-2 win over the Avs on Nov. 25 ... Coach Cory Clouston doesn’t name his starter until game day, but after making 29 saves in a 3-0 win over the Maple Leafs Saturday, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Brian Elliott is between the pipes ... The Senators were given a day off Sunday.


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