Alfie sums up Pominville's goal

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

Sabres 3, Senators 2 (OT)

Offensively, Daniel Alfredsson admitted his failure to get the job done.

"I missed the net a lot," the Senators captain said, with his eyes lowered and his voice soft, of a playoff series that ended with a crushing 3-2 overtime loss to the Sabres. "I was all Swedish, no Finnish."

Ah but defensively, he was a little bit Pylon.

As Jason Spezza cruised back to the defensive zone after a power-play turnover, it was likely with the faith that a no-name Sabre such as Jason Pominville would do no damage. Alfredsson and Wade Redden were still between him and the Ottawa net, after all. What was Pominville going to do?

Turns out, plenty. He deked Alfredsson, then Ray Emery, then slid the puck into the net.

Just as using a winger on the power-play point gave Ottawa its first goal of the night, having the same winger playing defence cost the Senators on the last goal.

"I looked up and saw Alfredsson, a forward, so I thought I'd give it a shot," said Pominville. "I had a step on him, I saw the net, and I decided to go for it."

Alfredsson could do little more than watch, stunned.

"(Pominville) made an unbelievable play to cut in front and stuff it in," he said. "I couldn't believe my eyes."

That pretty much sums up this city's feelings about the past week and a half, doesn't it?

Starts and stops:

Spezza acknowledged that the "stigma" of being a good team that can't win in the playoffs will continue haunt the Senators, but promised that will change. "We have to be men about it and suck it up," he said. "But we will win here. There's not a doubt in my mind. We will win." ... Wade Redden: "We definitely thought this was our year. We had a team that was going to do it." ... So much for the fast start they wanted last night. The Senators didn't get their first shot on goal until the 4:53 mark, and the long slap shot by Antoine Vermette was stopped easily by Ryan Miller ... Zdeno Chara played a game-high 30:03 and was better than he had been all series, if still not as good as he was throughout the year. Chara denied that his injured hand was bothering him. "Not at all," he said. "I felt it was 100%. A few times I wanted to get it going, to scrap, fight, but they played smart." ... Asked if it might be his last game in a Senators jersey, Chara, a potential unrestricted free agent, replied: "I love this team. I'd like to play here and be more successful than this year. I'd love to win a Stanley Cup with this organization. (Remaining in Ottawa) is my priority, but whatever happens, happens."

Between periods:

Dany Heatley's series against the Sabres was perfectly captured on one second-period play. Miller made a save off Alfredsson, and with an open net staring him in the face, the puck bounced over Heatley's stick ... The Senators had just one even-strength goal in the series after Game 1. "It wasn't a lack of effort," said Heatley, who finished the series with just one score. "I thought we tried hard and had a lot of chances. They just weren't going in." ... The roller-coaster ride that is Andrej Meszaros took another dip on the first shift of the night. First, the rookie defenceman whiffed on his clearing shot around the boards, then he only got a piece of the interceptor, Ales Kotalik, when he tried to hit him. A Kotalik pass to Henrik Tallinder and a seeing-eye shot later, and the Sabres were up 1-0 ... Meszaros, who had troubles with a puck at the point on a power play a little later, would be limited to only three first-period shifts ... The problems the Senators have completing a 2-on-1 are not a figment of Bryan Murray's imagination. They had two of them in the first period, and only got away one shot -- a Peter Schaefer wrister that looked like it was going wide when Miller grabbed it.

Things that make you go hmmm...:

At least the Renegades never pretended to be good, eh? ... "It all comes down to execution," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was saying after the morning skate. This morning we're wondering, whose? ... As players lined up for the series-ending handshake, some yahoo in the crowd pulled the Scotiabank Place fire alarm. (And you probably thought it was the sound of the Senators flat-lining). Naturally, this shut down elevators, causing the media and all Sabres scratches to take stairs that left us outside and walking through bushes to get back to the dressing room areas. "It's like being back in junior hockey," Buffalo tough guy Andrew Peters said with a chuckle. What league did he play in, anyway? ... In the crowd was former PM Jean Chretien, who didn't have the nice suit or the lineup waiting for a handshake and a photo that Stephen Harper had in Game 2 ... He wasn't able to light the lamp, but Mike Fisher was a going concern against the Sabres, finishing regulation time with a game-high six hits.

don.brennan@ott.sunpub.com


Videos

Photos