Loss 'worst of all'

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:53 AM ET

Sabres 3, Senators (OT) 2, Buffalo wins series 4-1

The Senators sat silently, slumped at their bench in a state of shock. They tried with no success to comfort Ray Emery.

It is a scene that has become far too familiar for the Senators in the spring.

As the Sabres crowded around overtime hero Jason Pominville, whose short-handed goal gave Buffalo a 3-2 win and a 4-1 series victory, the Senators prepared for a long summer with changes on the way.

"This one is the worst of all," said Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson. "We felt like like we had a team here that could compete for the Stanley Cup and we just didn't get the job done.

"It's tough to take. I mean, crap, we had the chances and we just weren't able to capitalize on them. I'm just really disappointed right now and I'm really hurt. I hate this feeling."

The Senators have been tagged as a team that underachieves in the playoffs and this was no different.

Pominville was allowed to skate in alone on Emery, the second costly time it had happened to the Senators. The first came on Chris Drury's goal at 7:56 of the second.

"This is hard right now because I came into these playoffs and I wanted to prove that I could be the goalie to help this team win. I wanted to show that I belong here," said Emery, who faced 21 shots.

"I feel like I let this team down in this series. I've got to make some saves on some of those chances. I know this is a great team and I know they can win here. This is really tough. I'm disappointed that we let this get away. I just wanted to be part of a winning team here this year."

The Senators fought back twice. Alfredsson's second goal of the playoffs at 10:26 of the first tied the game 1-1, then Brian Pothier's goal at 13:59 of the second made it 2-2. All that did was set up Ottawa's third overtime loss of the series.

"Look, this team is always going to have that label (as underachievers) until it wins the Cup," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "It's not fair, but that's the expectation here and that's the way it's going to be for whoever is with the Ottawa Senators until they win the Cup."

Centre Daniel Briere said the Senators didn't give the Sabres enough respect.

"Even after the second game when we were up 2-0, it didn't seem like they thought we had what it takes to beat them," said Briere. "We used that as motivation. And it's not just them. I think all over Canada a lot of people probably didn't think we had a chance against Ottawa."

Naturally, the off-season will bring change. Owner Eugene Melnyk spent $37 million in salary to win a Cup and the club came up short after 113 points in the regular season.

"That's why this is tough right now," said Senators centre Mike Fisher. "We have a good team here and we felt like we had a team that had a chance to win. We just couldn't put it together.

"You know there are going to be changes. We didn't go down without a fight. We battled right until the end, but unfortunately it wasn't good enough."

It just never seems to be for the Senators, does it?

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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