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Senators aim to end losing streak against Canucks

by Chris Stevenson

CANUCKS (18-8-1) at SENATORS (10-11-5)


OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators will try to end a five-game losing streak (0-4-1) when they play the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

The Senators have had the lead or been tied going into the third period of each game during the streak, but have managed one point in that span, an overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

"We're in the games and we've got a chance, but that's how it goes when you're searching for wins," Senators left wing Clarke MacArthur said. "You don't have that confidence going into the third like we had earlier on in the season. Little mistakes turn into big ones and that's kind of what's going on.

"The confidence isn't there to finish a game out right now. We've been in the games and we should be getting at least a point, but we're just not getting them. When you're in the third period tied, you've got to find a way to get a point or two. At the end of the year, those are the games you look back on and say, 'we should have gotten points.' At this point we need a win. We need to find a way to win tonight and get going in the right direction."

The Senators were tied 2-2 late in the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, but Penguins defenseman Christian Ehrhoff scored at 18:10 of the third period to give Pittsburgh the win.

Ehrhoff was allowed to skate down from the point, wind up and beat Senators goaltender Craig Anderson with a hard shot from the circle for the winner.

It was the kind of mistake that has been hurting the Senators in the third period lately.

"We've got to stick to our guns. We can't freak out or panic," Senators defenseman Marc Methot said. "We've got to stay maybe a little bit more relaxed in the room after that second period and just take a deep breath and go out and play."

"It's a mindset, I guess, for lack of a better word," Senators forward Bobby Ryan said. "We get there and there's a sense of panic within our group. That's what happens when you start this little spiral and you start to lose games. Nobody wants to be that guy. All we do is chip and don't forecheck and establish that aggressive style we're supposed to be playing. You sit back. Most games we've just sat back and taken rushes."

Ryan has been encouraged by the play of the Senators.

"We started to see signs of some of the things we've been preaching, guys starting to buy into the system and structure," he said. "I thought through the middle period [Saturday] there we did a lot of good things in that regard and then one quick little breakdown and that was the end of it.

"I don't want to say we're near the end of the tunnel, but we're starting to see more and more structure in our game right now and that's all it is."

Said Senators coach Paul MacLean: "The positive is we've been getting the games to that point. We've got to find a way to bring it home."

The Canucks were defeated 5-2 by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, ending a two-game winning streak. They did not skate Sunday.

The Canucks were 0-for-6 on the power play Saturday and are 0-for-8 in their past two games.

Here are the projected lineups:


Daniel SedinHenrik SedinRadim Vrbata

Chris HigginsNick BoninoAlexandre Burrows

Nicklas JensenBrad RichardsonLinden Vey

Derek DorsettBo HorvatJannik Hansen

Alexander EdlerChristopher Tanev

Luca SbisaKevin Bieksa

Ryan StantonYannick Weber

Eddie Lack

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Frank Corrado

Injured: Tom Sestito (undisclosed), Zack Kassian (finger), Dan Hamuis (lower body), Shawn Matthias (head)


Clarke MacArthur - Kyle TurrisMark Stone

Mike HoffmanMika Zibanejad- Bobby Ryan

Erik CondraCurtis LazarAlex Chiasson

David Legwand - Zack SmithChris Neil

Chris Phillips - Erik Karlsson

Marc Methot - Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki - Eric Gryba

Craig Anderson

Andrew Hammond

Scratched: Colin Greening

Injured: Milan Michalek (undisclosed), Patrick Wiercioch (undisclosed), Robin Lehner (knee)

Status report: Michalek was injured against the Penguins on Saturday and will not play. His place in the lineup will be taken by Stone, who missed one game with a sore foot, but skated Sunday and said he was ready to go … Lehner, who was placed on injured reserve Thursday, also took part in the optional skate Sunday … Methot will play his 400th game. … Matthias left the game Saturday after colliding with Maple Leafs defenseman Stephane Robidas and will not play.

Who's hot: Zibanejad has scored in each of his past two games. He has two goals and an assist in his past three. … Richardson has two goals and two assists in his past four games.

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