The Ottawa Senators have been in the midst of a mild slump lately, losing their last two games and 3 of their last 5. It would have been a nice boost for the team to get a win before the All-Star Break, but another game of uninspired hockey saw the Senators walk out with a 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Senators actually outshot their opponents this game -- something they have not been doing lately -- but their game seemed to lack intensity and the chances they generated never really seemed that dangerous. They allowed the Phoenix Coyotes to take a 2-0 lead on goals from Gilbert Brule and Shane Doan before Daniel Alfredsson finally got the Senators on the board 37 minutes into the game. Only down 2-1 going into the third, it seemed like the late-surging Senators might actually be able to pull this one out.
Unfortunately, the Senators couldn't seem to find the win tonight. The Coyotes scored 1:30 into the period to give themselves a 3-1 lead, and though Chris Neil netted his ninth of the season just 14 seconds later, the Senators never could bring the game back to a tie. It appeared they had tied it up late in the third when Daniel Alfredsson put the puck in the back of the net off a rebound, but the goal was disallowed as referee Tim Peel felt Nick Foligno had interfered with goalie Mike Smith. The Senators went on the penalty kill, and never managed to find that tying marker, falling 3-2 to the 'Yotes. The Sens will have plenty to think about over the All-Star Break, and hopefully they come back with fresh legs and the hustle that's been missing the past few games.Sens Zeroes: Erik Karlsson and Filip Kuba
The team's top pairing had a rough night, as Karlsson and Kuba were -2 and -3 respectively. Both were held off the scoresheet, made dumb plays, and were easily muscled off the puck tonight.
Sens Hero: Chris Phillips
Phillips has had a rough go as of late (see: penalty shot, yesterday), so it was nice to see him have a solid +2 on a night where the Senators only scored 2 (and gave up three at even strength). He even had his 13th assist of the year on the Daniel Alfredsson goal, giving him 13 more assists than he has goals.
Sens Zero: Bobby Butler
Butler was given his opportunity to shine tonight, and simply didn't do anything with it. He spent time on the top line but only had two shots on net and failed to bury any of his chances. He also finished -2 on the night, and stood idly by while the man he should have been covering, Radim Vrbata, potted home the game winner in the third period.
Sens Hero: Daniel Alfredsson
Alfie led the Senators with 7 shots on the night, and was simply the most dangerous player for the Sens. He was great in his own zone (one of the rare Sens on the positive side of +/-), and he had one goal that counted and another one that didn't.