Senators get a day off

Jesse Winchester and Ryan Shannon were among the few Senators who drew praise from coach Cory...

Jesse Winchester and Ryan Shannon were among the few Senators who drew praise from coach Cory Clouston after Sunday's disappointing loss to the Caps. (QMI Agency/Errol McGihon)

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:46 PM ET

OTTAWA - The Senators have a day off Monday.

Some are saying it started around 8:30 p.m. Sunday. At that time, Ottawa held a 2-0 lead and had the reeling Washington Capitals on the mat. But the Senators let them up with a absolutely dreadful first 6:55 of play in the second period that saw them surrender two goals, take back-to-back penalties, then give up the decisive third goal.

No more scoring would be done, as the Senators became the first team in nine games to let the Caps taste victory.

“It’s frustrating,” said Chris Kelly, the third-line centre with the five-game points streak. “I thought we played a great first period, put ourselves in a good spot, then for whatever reason we didn’t start the second like we should have.”

Coach Cory Clouston credited the likes of Ryan Shannon, Peter Regin and Jesse Winchester, then put much of the blame for the loss on the team’s “high-end” players.

“We need guys to play hard,” he said.

His view was shared by other players.

“We’ve just got to bear down,” said Chris Neil. “We need everyone on board.”

As of Monday, the Senators are 10th in the Eastern Conference, six points out of a playoff spot. The eighth-place Bruins have four games in hand on them. Ottawa has one more game before Christmas, on Thursday in Nashville.

The Senators returned goalie Mike Brodeur to Binghamton Monday morning, suggesting they believe Pascal Leclaire (lower body) will be able to suit.


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