If you thought the road trip was looking bad after the first three games, well, it didn't get any better with tonight's effort. The Senators were outworked for 56 minutes by the Coyotes tonight, only coming on strong in the final few minutes. Though no Senators had great games tonight, the team's best players were probably Ryan Shannon, Chris Campoli, and Jonathan Cheechoo. Shannon used his speed to constantly recover the puck in the Coyotes' zone, and was the only player who seemed to have his legs under him for the whole game. Campoli responded well to his benching, creating a lot of offensive chances and being strong in his own end. Cheechoo had assists on both of the Senators' goals, and in fact created both opportunities by driving hard to the net and getting some lucky bounces.
There were also a number of Senators who had poor games, the worst coming from Erik Karlsson and Brian Elliott. Karlsson partially caused the second Coyotes goal after his shot was blocked, leading to a rush by Taylor Pyatt. Karlsson was weak on the third goal as well, and even took a penalty 16 seconds into an important Sens powerplay late in the second period, bringing the teams back to even strength. Elliott once again let in too many soft goals early, which shattered the confidence of the club in front of him.
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Cory Clouston played musical chairs with his lines, especially the defensemen, but to no avail. No line managed to stand out for more than a shift, all struggling to create any chances that weren't wraparounds or shots from the perimeter.
In the end, the Sens simply could not recover from those two first period goals, and never really looked comfortable in the game until the final two minutes (when they were playing 6-on-5 with a pulled goalie). If the Sens don't pull out a win against the Ducks tomorrow night, then they will have gone winless for the entirety of this roadtrip. The team needs to figure out what it's doing wrong (which is most everything), and start playing on the road like they do at home.
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