Sens' stars must shine or it will be lights out

Ottawa Senators' goalie Martin Gerber lies in the goal crease after Pittsburgh PenguinsÕ Ryan...

Ottawa Senators' goalie Martin Gerber lies in the goal crease after Pittsburgh PenguinsÕ Ryan Malone scored to give the Penguins the lead with less than two minutes remaining in the third period of the NHL hockey playoff game in Pittsburgh, Friday, April 11, 2008.(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

OTTAWA -- Senators centre Jason Spezza is a little banged up.

He got nicked in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarter-final, which the Senators trail 2-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Spezza, who still is looking for his first point and is minus-2 in the series, took a few more knocks yesterday without even going on the ice.

The lack of production from Spezza and wingman Dany Heatley (one assist and a combined minus-4 between them) is a big reason why the Senators find themselves in such a big hole.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, their opposite numbers on the Penguins right now, have four and six points, respectively.

You want the difference in the series?

It's right there.

Senators goaltender Martin Gerber has been outstanding, making a club playoff-record 49 saves in Game 2.

Plumbers Shean Donovan and Cody Bass have chipped in a couple of goals.

The high-end guys aren't getting it done.

"You see Crosby got points. Malkin got points in two games. Good players that get the ice time and get the opportunity are the people that you count on and that's the way you build teams in this league," Senators coach and GM Bryan Murray.

"I don't think there's one team that could go and win a series if their best players don't contribute a great deal."

When asked about Heatley still looking for his first goal, Murray replied:

"Not getting the puck in the right spots is a big part of it," Murray said, an obvious dig at Spezza. "Dany Heatley is a shooter. We know that. When you are a goal scorer, you need help getting the puck in spots where you get a chance to shoot the puck."

The Senators had optional skate yesterday at Scotiabank Place with still no sign of injured Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson or forwards Mike Fisher or Chris Kelly.


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