The score may be deceiving, but the Ottawa Senators fell short in their loss to the Buffalo Sabres
Things aren't always going to go your way, Ottawa Senators coach D.J. Smith told a group of media people prior to the game after a morning skate.
Smith had no idea that his team's situation would take a turn for the worst just a few hours after he spoke. Once more. The Senators were defeated 6-4 by the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday at Canadian Tire Centre, despite their unusual 6:45 p.m. start.
With three goals in the last 4 1/2 minutes, the Senators rallied from a 5-1 hole to pull within one goal. However, don't let the score deceive you. For a squad that is currently 3-3 and has lost two games in a row, it didn't seem that close.
Early in the NHL season, there was plenty for the team's 14,278 fans to be unhappy about, if not afraid of.
One observation: Ottawa's goalies need to stop some pucks. Anton Forsberg allowed five goals to go past him before being pulled after two periods.
Observation No. 2: The defense of the senators must remove any oppositional bodies from the crease region.
The Senators were outworked by the Sabres, who occasionally appeared uninspired and possibly exhausted. There were a few unfortunate events and bounces. However, on a night when there were too many passengers, the effort was insufficient.
Many players "played hard to the end and gave us every chance to come back," Smith remarked. "Other guys need to put in more effort in their play."
"Despite the frustration, we still have 76 games left," Senators winger Claude Giroux remarked. "Now is not the moment to get into panic mode. It's time to keep improving and figure out how to remain steady for sixty minutes. We'll start winning hockey games—a lot of them—if we do that. We are aware of our abilities.
In the last two games, there have been problems with the goalkeeper.
Smith remarked, "It's obvious you want better tonight." "It was discouraging when the pucks entered." However, you must examine it; are the pucks tipped or not? The goalie is blind to what he is not seeing. We have benefited greatly from Forsy. Guys will play in inconsistent games. He will recover.
Giroux continued, "They had a lot of screens and tips; we didn't really help Forsy see the puck."
In the opening period, the Sabres' first six shots resulted in two goals.
When it was discovered that Peyton Krebbs had used a high stick to knock the ball into the net, Buffalo's goal was nullified.
A few minutes later, Jeff Skinner's wristshot past Forsberg blocker side to give the Sabres a goal.
Tage Thompson, who had scored 47 goals the previous year and was left alone at the door, was then robbed by Forsberg.
With 8:40 remaining in the frame, Zemgus Girgensons had made it 2-0.
When Thompson was given a hooking penalty early in the second period, the Sabres were forced to play with two players short for 37 seconds due to a carryover penalty from the first period. For the Senators, however, there was nothing nearly as good.
"We always believe we can put them in in bunches, even down a few goals," Chychrun stated. This is early. We have a great group of passionate, caring guys that really want to win. It's critical to maintain composure during these times. Even though we won't win every game, we still need to take something positive out from the nights when we don't give it our all.
With just over three minutes remaining, Senators captain Brady Tkachuk sent Alex Tuch to the ice with a punch that brought the crowd to its feet. The Senators' shot may have been their finest of the evening. Tkachuk received an instigating penalty, which carries a suspension of one game. Smith stated, however, that the team will appeal to the league. Smith declared, "I understand the purpose of the rule, which is to send guys out to fight at the end." That is not a scenario that I see at all. I see a man who stands up for himself despite going out of his way to hit him badly.