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Game Day 5: Sens vs Islanders

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

The Sens return to Canadian Tire Centre tonight to host the Islanders and we've got 5 things to get you ready for puck drop.

1. Improved effort, same result last night

The Sens' season-long losing streak was extended to 5 games last night after dropping a 5-2 decision to the Blue Jackets and although they were unable to bust out of their current slump, there were some positives to build off of.

"We played much better tonight but the bottom line is we didn't find a way to win," said Dion Phaneuf post-game. "This is a result oriented business...it's about winning hockey games, it's about getting points and again we came out with zero points."

Phaneuf has been a vocal leader for the team over this rough patch and echoed the same sentiments after the team's fifth consecutive loss.

"I said it before earlier in the week; we have to continue to claw, we have to continue to build and we have to continue to get better," Phaneuf said. "Right now, it hasn't been good enough."

Bobby Ryan, who came close to notching his first goal of the season, also tried to remain optomistic after the loss.

"I thought there was a ton to build off of," shared Ryan. "When you're in a slump like this you have to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I think we can start to see it a little bit."

Video: OTT Recap: 3rd period costs Senators in 5-2 loss

 

2. From the coach

Sens head coach Guy Boucher spoke with the media in Columbus last night and shared some thoughts on his team's improved play, his coach's challenge and more...

His thoughts on last night's 5-2 loss to the Blue Jackets:

We know they start strong in their building and we knew that they're a team that gets a lot of offensive zone time so we just wanted to make sure that we didn't open up our zone. We were inside and not giving up the high-end scoring chances, we gave up shots but not a lot of high-end scoring chances. The one thing was that we were turning the puck over in the first. Obviously, when you lose four in a row your confidence level isn't high so I like the fact that we built it up. I thought our second period was very good, I thought the first 10 minutes of the third period was outstanding, the power play looked great but we just couldn't score.


The power play looking better:

We did everything but score on that last power play and both power plays looked terrific. It does get frustrating for the players when you feel that you deserve it and it's not coming.


On the failed coach's challenge to disallow a goal:

I totally disagree with the goal that was allowed. We've had the same thing against us where the guy has his foot in the blue paint, touches our goalie's glove and our goalie can't get his glove out for the shot so I don't know why that was allowed but that's just the way it is. It's a judgement call and we have to live with it.


Building off the positives:

We had effort, we had chances to win, or to take a lead at least, so we have to build on that back home and continue what we were doing in the second and third period.

Video: Nov 24: Sens vs. Blue Jackets - Boucher Postgame

 

3. Hoffman lighting the lamp

For the second time this season, Mike Hoffman has goals in consecutive games for the Senators. Midway through the second period last night, Ryan Dzingel sent Hoffman in on a partial break where he shelfed his 8th goal of the season and evened the score at 2-2 against the Blue Jackets.

Video: OTT@CBJ: Hoffman lights the lamp on his birthday

Hoffman's eight tallies this season are second most on the team behind only Mark Stone (13) and what's interesting about his total is that (if you include the "home" game the Sens played in Stockholm) 7 of his 8 goals have been scored on the road despite playing 5 more games at Canadian Tire Centre to start the season.

 

4. Previous meeting

These teams last met on April 9th, 2017 in each team's final regular season game of 2016-17 where the Islanders picked up a 4-2 victory at the Barclays Center. Bobby Ryan and Jean-Gabriel Pageau had the Sens goals in defeat while Mike Condon stopped 17 of the 20 Islanders' shots he faced.

Full highlights from that game below...

Video: OTT Recap: Ryan, Pageau score in loss to Islanders

 

5. Where to watch

Puck drop is scheduled for a little after 7 p.m. in Ottawa and there are limited tickets available for tonight's game. If you can't make it to Canadian Tire Centre, you can catch all the action on CITY or on the radio with Dean Brown and Gord Wilson on TSN 1200.

Tweet from @Senators: It's a #Sens�� game day! The Sens return to @CdnTireCtr to host the Islanders at 7 p.m.BE THERE: https://t.co/U1OEFxQq3f pic.twitter.com/8xWSrrp4Hz

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