Senators baffled by Belfour

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 2:44 PM ET


 OTTAWA -- With 10 shots on goal last night and nothing to show for them, Marian Hossa was asked if there was a book on how to be successful on Ed Belfour.

 "Maybe on a breakaway?" said the Ottawa Senators forward, who had only seven less shots than the entire Maple Leafs team last night. "I don't know. It's tough to say. He's a great goalie and always was. He covers all the areas and we just have to shoot when he is not expecting it."

 That might not even work against the Leafs goaltender, who has posted two consecutive shutouts against the Senators.

 "Maybe one goes in off our (butt) or something like that and it gets us going," said Todd White, who had a beautiful chance to tie the game in the third period but hit the side of the net. "Maybe we bank one in off one of them and get the ball rolling."

 What the Senators have to guard against now is the mental anguish that may haunt them until they score on Belfour.

 There's not much a team can improve upon after firing 37 shots, as the Senators did last night.

 Even when they did have great chances and Belfour appeared to be out of position, the puck found its way into Belfour's equipment.

 The Senators may be getting a taste of how the Philadelphia Flyers felt in the 2002 playoffs. The Sens won the conference quarter final in five games and allowed just two goals.

 Belfour, who turns 39 next week, butters his bread on being technically sound and that could be a source of frustration for the Senators. How do you beat a guy who is so often in the proper position to make a save?

 "We have guys who can score goals against the best goaltenders in the league and it is frustrating because we put so much of an onus on getting in front of him," Bryan Smolinski said. "Somehow we have to find a way to get it around him. We'll try to find an answer."

 Said big Senators defenceman Zdeno Chara: "He is having the games of his life."


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