Sens must clean up act

Ottawa Senators Chris Kelly gets pushed to the ice by Buffalo Sabres Henrik Tallinder (L) and Toni...

Ottawa Senators Chris Kelly gets pushed to the ice by Buffalo Sabres Henrik Tallinder (L) and Toni Lydman (R) during the third period of game one of round two NHL playoff action at the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa on Friday, May 5, 2006. (SUN/Sean Kilpatrick)

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:14 AM ET

Ray Emery found some solace in a TV screen yesterday.

Watching the great Martin Brodeur allow six goals (some of which were suspect) in the opening of the other Eastern Conference semi-final yesterday helped, but viewing a tape of his own 7-6 overtime beating at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres on Friday was even more rewarding.

"It sounds funny, but to me it doesn't look as bad as it felt," Emery, who could prevent only 16 shots from getting by him in his sixth NHL playoff start, said after a morning that included his second sitdown with the game film, a conversation with goalie coach Ron Low and a practice at the Bell Sensplex.

"It kind of goes slow mo when you're in there, but you realize things happen pretty quick. Makes it a bit easier to swallow, actually, watching it, but it doesn't change the fact you lost the game in that fashion, so it's still pretty discouraging."

A good number of Senators should have been slumping in their chairs as coach Bryan Murray showed them clips from a night that cost them home-ice advantage in the best-of-seven series with Buffalo. Game 1 saw the Senators commit 19 turnovers, including 10 at the Sabres blue line.

"I'm still trying to forget about (Friday night)," said Marty Havlat. "I think everybody feels the same way. Basically we gave them the game, like we did the second game at home against Tampa. You can't have games like that in the playoffs."

SLOPPY EFFORT

Murray also believes the game was more lost than won.

"We won't play that sloppy again," promised Murray, whose team had five -- count 'em five -- leads slip through its fingers. "We scored 12 goals. That's basically the way I approach it. We just gave pucks away all night.

"Maybe it had something to do with Buffalo. Maybe it did. But we gave them some pucks as well.

"They're a team if you give them a 2-on-1, which we did three times, they score on it. The disappointing part for me, is that going into the game we spent a fair amount of time over the last few days getting ready for Buffalo and paying attention to some detail, and then we get in and we're so careless with the puck."

A statistical oddity saw Wade Redden finish the night at minus-4 when only two other players from either side (Havlat, Daniel Alfredsson) were as bad as minus-2. At the same time, most critics are laying blame on rookie defenceman Andrej Meszaros, who committed glaring errors throughout the night, as well as stay-at-home blueliner Anton Volchenkov, who coughed up the puck on Chris Drury's OT winner.

And oh yes, Emery.

"I don't think the majority goes on him at all," Redden said when asked if the rookie goalie deserved the heat. "Everyone's got to be better. When you've got guys standing at the back door, tapping in pucks, there's not much he can do on those."

Emery figured he had a chance on four of the seven goals.

SOFT GOALS

"And you've got to stop at least two or three of those," he said. "Definitely, the last one (in regulation, by Tim Connolly) that I had the chance to cover, and Connolly coming in on the side (for his first, in the second period) I thought I was right over there, and he just snuck it through. I want to have that, too.

"Then obviously the last shot (by Drury). I think I make that save most of the time."

Meanwhile, there should be no expectations of Dominik Hasek riding to the rescue.

"I haven't seen Dom on the ice," said Murray. "I think he works out real well, I think he's getting real strong. But I haven't seen him on the ice, so I assume that Ray will be our guy. That's our plan, and we're very happy with that.

"We really bottomed out, in helping Ray get the game going (Friday). I mean, 35 seconds in, to give up the goal that we gave up ... it's pretty difficult for a goaltender, whether he's young or old, to say he's going to have a fantastic game from that point on.

"We've done the analyzing of what happened, and what has to happen going forward. Now, starting (today) we've got a new page to worry about. It's playoff hockey and we think we're going to win every game, every night. I think somebody said we have a chance to win (the series) in seven. Well, we have to win a few, but you have to lose a couple for that to happen."

DON.BRENNAN@OTT.SUNPUB.COM


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