PITTSBURGH -- Cory Clouston admitted to the embarrassment of two too- many-men-on-the-ice penalties in the same playoff game.
He also accepted the blame -- even if it's not entirely his.
The ridiculous epidemic that saw the Senators take 13 such bench minors in the regular season (tying them for the league lead with Colorado) has now spread into the playoffs, where they've been hit with three too-many-men-on-the-ice penalties. None have led to power-play goals by Pittsburgh, but they have cost the Senators momentum and caused them heartache.
"Ultimately, it falls on my shoulders," said Clouston. "You have a lineup, ready to go. Everybody knows who they're supposed to replace. And you're not supposed to go on the ice until that guy is on the bench.
"The second one (Tuesday), in my opinion, wasn't the right call. The first one, one guy went out when his linemate hadn't come off yet. We've got to find a way not to do that."
GM Bryan Murray said too- many-men penalties are frustrating, as are any of the others Ottawa is taking.
"Taking misconducts at the end of the game is frustrating for me too. We don't have to do that," said Murray. "But the too-man- men ... that's players. Step on the ice and the puck is in that area, you can't touch the puck. And we constantly do that."
The Penguins have had more power-play opportunities, but have not been as efficient as the Senators with the man advantage. While Pittsburgh is 5-for-19 on the power play, Ottawa is 6-for-14.
Two of the Senators' goals have come on 5-on-3 situations, however. "First of all, the discipline to me hasn't been a huge issue," said Clouston. "At the end of the game, for sure it was. Emotions were high. I don't mind, in some ways, showing some emotion. But we do have to control our emotions."
Like Chris Neil's roughing penalty right after he scored Ottawa's first goal, closing the gap to 4-1? Neil was charged for pushing Kris Letang and it hurt the Senators, even though they did score again less than two minutes after Neil stepped out of the box.
"To me, it was very questionable," Clouston said of the call. "It wasn't a real hard push. There's a lot worse things not called."
The Senators, Clouston points out, have been known to get on a roll.
"We've won 11 games in a row," he said. "We've had adversity. We can draw on that."