Sens need to score to bail out Emery

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:19 AM ET

Hands down, Ray Emery's best night in a Senators' jersey was on Dec. 12, when he stopped 43 Red Wings' shots to give his team a 3-2 win at Joe Louis Arena.

To those watching closest, his best playoff performance was Wednesday's 29-save, 1-0 loss in Anaheim. Where would you rank it, Ray?

"Well, it's one of the five that we've lost," the Ottawa goalie said yesterday, "so one of the worst five."

This defeat certainly could not be laid at Emery's feet. On a severely tilted ice surface, he had the Ducks buzzing around him most of the game. Conservatively speaking, he made four very good stops.

"Basically, Ray stood on his head," defenceman Tom Preissing said. "I can think off the top of my head of two or three flurries, where he was sprawling around, making saves and being the athletic goalie he is.

"Basically, any time we've had a breakdown, he's been there."

Asked to rank Emery's play in Game 2, Jason Spezza called it "pretty damn good.

"He gave us a chance to win that hockey game," Spezza said. "The only goal they got was a great shot through the D's legs off the post and in.

"We feel if you can give us an effort like that, which he's given all playoffs, it gives us a great opportunity to win most nights."

Now, the Senators owe him one. To get back in the series, they need to start generating scoring chances. To give Emery some breathing room, they need to make good with those opportunities.

The way they're playing now, their 'tender does not have the luxury of making a single mistake.

"No question, we'd like to get him more than zero goals, more than two goals," Preissing said. "We'd like to offer him some help. He's good enough that we expect him to keep playing that well. He's the main reason we're in the Stanley Cup final. He's already raised his level. As a team, we want to follow."

Emery, the playoff leader in wins with 12, has allowed four goals on 63 shots in the finals. J.S. Giguere has had a much easier ride, facing only 36 shots in the two games.

Emery says he's not concerned about what's going on at the other end of the rink.

"I just worry about what I have to do and try to stay solid, make the saves I have to make," he said. "I'm not too worried about what the other guy is doing."

Asked what he has learned in this series, he hesitated, then smiled.

"I've learned about the shooters on Anaheim, but I don't know," Emery said. "Not a whole lot. Not a whole lot is different from the rest of the playoffs."

Except he's not getting much time to stand up straight and watch the play around the opposition's net. Either that changes or Emery will have to get even better than he was Wednesday -- and that's pretty hard to do.


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