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Coach MacLean post-game - 3.31.2014

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

It was a low scoring affair compared to recent games against the Flames and Blackhawks but the Senators pulled out a 2-1 shootout victory on Monday night to move to 4-0-1 in their last five. Mika Zibanejad scored the team's lone goal while Ales Hemsky potted the shootout winner. Craig Anderson stopped 30 shots in 65 minutes before turning aside all three shootout attempts. Sens head coach Paul MacLean offered his thoughts after the win.

Here's what he had to say...

On the defensive effort:

I thought this game went up and down the rink pretty fast, but I thought we played a pretty solid 60 minute game against a very quick team. It was a good transition game and I thought we did a good job without the puck again tonight. Our penalty killers did an outstanding job. I haven't seen what the scoring chances ended up being but I thought it was a pretty solid effort all around.

On if he thought closing the gap on the playoffs was possible:

All I'm doing is going game by game still. We won today, we've got to get ready for Wednesday and we'll see where we are at 82 games.

On if they'll be practicing 3-on-3:

No... I thought it worked pretty good. It was wide open, I haven't seen it in a long time.

On Anderson:

I thought he was very steady. He was the goalie. I thought we did a good job of pushing things to the outside and giving him an opportunity and making sure we let him just be the goalie and I thought he did a good job of that. In the shootout I thought he showed real good patience and that ended up being the difference.

On Hemsky in the shootout:

I didn't know much about it. To be honest with you I didn't do any research on it myself. The other night in Florida against Luongo after we had already named the three shooters he said, "Oh I score on him all the time." That was the first tip he said to me after he hadn't been in a shootout in three years in Edmonton and all this year, but he scores on Luongo all the time. It was a little late. We just felt with the way that he has played and come in, he's much more comfortable with our group now and I thought his play tonight earned an opportunity. I talked to David (Cameron) and he said we've got to put him in. Good choice by David again.

On the increased defensive effort:

Well we've made a more concerted effort in the last month and a half to be more focused on the defensive part of our game so tonight maybe that's a culmination of all our work. We've worked hard at it and had a lot of ups and downs with it as well. Tonight was a night where we can say we'll find out Wednesday if it's all coming together. We're sorting it out in the defensive zone and doing things much better as a team defensively and it has more to do with that than the parts that are missing.

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