It wasn't the prettiest win of the season, but the Ottawa Senators dug in and earned a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night to split the two games between them this week after Buffalo's Tuesday night shutout victory. Sens head coach Paul MacLean offered his thoughts after the game.
Here's what he had to say...
On the win:
We always say a win is a win is a win is a win is a win and even though we may have felt we survived it, we did enough to win the game. Our goaltender made a conscious decision that he was going to be competitive and give us a chance to win. Our penalty killers at the end of the game killed two penalties, which is something you have to do if you want to be a good team. We may not have killed them textbook but we killed them off and kept the puck out of our net. We found a way to win the game, lots of games this year we've found a way not to win but tonight we found a way to win so we have to build on that.
On the point streak as a good sign:
We certainly believe so and we've got to find a way to keep collecting points. We've got to keep finding a way to win games. We have home games here against some difficult opponents but I still think the most difficult opponent we have is ourselves.
On Cody Ceci's heavy usage:
The best players play. If you're playing well we're going to get you out on the ice. It might not be the same the next time but tonight Cody came in and gave a good account of himself for his first NHL game, he should be very proud of it, in front of his friends and family here in Ottawa being a hometown kid and it was great to see him have a couple of opportunities to score a goal. It was a great debut.
On the upcoming LA and St. Louis games:
We historically rise to the level of our competition. When we play the Bostons and Detroits we usually play a pretty good game. St. Louis and LA are obviously top teams in the Western Conference and we expect that it's going to be difficult, but we look forward to that opportunity.
On the PK struggles:
Well I think it has been a lack of pressure. We haven't been as good of a four man unit as we were last year. It could be a little bit of bad luck too, some pucks are falling on their sticks instead of our sticks and some get through the goaltender. For the most part it's taking too many of them and then it's a lack of pressure. We don't clear the puck 200 feet and then we end up extending our shifts. When you're out there tired it's hard to pressure and that has been a bugaboo for us. Last year we got a lot of good clears, we won faceoffs, got pucks out and disrupted a lot of power plays on entry and up the ice. We didn't spend a lot of time in the sets. This year we're losing faceoffs, we're not getting 200 feet and as a result we're spending too much time in our end with our lack of execution. Again it goes back to our lack of execution with the puck that has been our biggest issue this year.
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