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Coach MacLean post-game - 12.21.2013

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

In another tough loss, the Ottawa Senators gave up a 3-2 lead late in the third period and fell in overtime by a 4-3 score. Sens head coach Paul MacLean offered his thoughts after the loss.

Here's what he had to say...

On tonight's game:

I thought it was the same as the other night, special teams was the difference, theirs were better than ours. They score a power play goal late, we took penalties and couldn't kill it off, our power play had opportunities and couldn't score. To me the difference in the game is special teams again.

On not being able to close out games:

We're in the habit of not doing it as opposed to the habit of doing it and it gets hard, it becomes hard. We have to continue to encourage our players that we've worked hard enough to get the lead, we're getting the lead, let's keep doing what we're doing but we can encourage them and encourage them but they have to go on the ice and have a little bit of success for it to continue to happen and when things go badly they get defensive. We keep telling them let's get out and get playing, let's establish our forecheck and do things the right way and we have to continue to encourage them to do that. The good sign is that we're getting to a point where we have leads. We weren't at that point for a while. That's a positive we can have is we do have the lead in the game and let's continue to work to keep it or add to it.

On if the effort was good enough to win:

I thought for the most part it was, they're a competitive team and I thought we were competitive. We had some good opportunities in the second period but I thought again in the second we gave them two goals. We can't give any team — just give them two goals.

On Marc Methot:

I thought Marc came in and played fine. We don't expect him to score two goals every night. I thought he was a competitive player, kept the game simple and helped us out a lot.

On the good start:

Well we got the numbers a little bit closer, it's 11-5 now instead of 11-3. We did have a good start I thought we were ahead 2-0 in the game and — I'm trying to remember the first goal — we made a bad decision, we had a defenceman deep, we get on the wrong side and we basically gave them a goal. Then we take a penalty we don't have to take and lose a puck battle in the neutral zone, we're not close enough to it, and it ends up in our net again. I thought the two goals they got in the second period, they didn't have to work very hard.

On if pressure plays a role:

I'm not sure if it's the pressure to turn it around, we're just trying to find a way to win a game. Right now that's hard to do, I guess maybe that's the same thing. Right now for us that's hard to do, we need to maybe do a little bit less and we might accomplish more. Maybe we're trying to do too much when the game gets to that point with a lead in the third period. If we start doing a little bit less we'll be in better position and do things better.

On the clearance problems:

However you want to call it, but that's been a thorn in our side all season long. The goal we gave up to tie the game or lose the game is the same issue we've had all year. We had the sameissue the other night — puck with time and we don't clear it for whatever reason. Whether you're paralyzed with your stick or they make a great play defensively, however it is, the bottom line is we don't clear the puck 200 feet and we're fishing it out of our net. In this league, if you give good player second and third and fourth opportunities, they're not going to make a mistake. They don't give us those.

On Zibanejad:

He skated today, he's still day-to-day, but we're going to practice tomorrow and right now the information I have is he's supposed to practice so that's good.

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