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Senators aiming for quick rebound

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Captain Daniel Alfredsson and the Senators have already put Saturday's loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs behind them and are focused on the four games they have remaining before the Olympic break (Photo Christian Petersen/Getty Images).

In the Ottawa Senators' minds, it's merely one small bump in the road.

One that they've managed to quickly put behind them.

Then again, faced with a stretch of four games in six nights leading into the Olympic break — starting with Tuesday night's matchup against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200) — the Senators have little time to mope about Saturday's 5-0 setback in Toronto at the hands of the Maple Leafs.

The result also brought the Senators' franchise-record 11-game winning streak to a halt with a resounding thud. But already, Ottawa (33-22-4) is looking forward to the opportunity to pick up two valuable points against the Flames (29-21-9).

"I don’t think it matters how you lose," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said after the team's practice earlier today at Scotiabank Place. "You just want to come back with a good effort the next game. We’ve got four games before the Olympic break and we’d like to finish on a good note to get ready for the last push.

"To win 11 straight, you’ve got to be sharp. We know, at the same time, if you’re not going 100 per cent and you make a couple of mistakes, it could definitely change the outcome of a game against any opponent in this league. We’re just going to bounce back and have a strong showing tomorrow."

Added forward Jarkko Ruutu: "We weren't happy with the way we played the game but in the end, the result doesn't really matter, whether it's 2-1 or 10-0. You lose two points and the next game, you have a chance to redeem yourself."

The Senators don't have to look back too far to find the path to more success. Until Saturday, they were on a remarkable run, outscoring 11 opponents by a wide 37-13 margin during their hot streak. One loss isn't about to shake the confidence that was built over that stretch.

"You don’t like to lose any games," said forward Chris Neil. "Any time another team embarrasses you like that, you don’t take it lightly and you want to get right back at it the next night and play, but we didn’t have that opportunity. I don’t think we sat around and dwelled on it. We’re a pretty mature group in here with a lot a veteran leadership, so we don’t let that bother us too much. We know we need to have a solid effort (Tuesday) night.

"We've got to come out and play the way we had been playing. If you come out and work hard and play hard and stick to the system, you’re going to win more hockey games than you lose. Hopefully, we'll come out and get back to what we do well and come out on top."

"I don’t think it matters how you lose. You just want to come back with a good effort the next game. We’ve got four games before the Olympic break and we’d like to finish on a good note to get ready for the last push. To win 11 straight, you’ve got to be sharp. We know, at the same time, if you’re not going 100 per cent and you make a couple of mistakes, it could definitely change the outcome of a game against any opponent in this league. We’re just going to bounce back and have a strong showing tomorrow." - Daniel Alfredsson
The good news is, the 11-game streak has the Senators well-positioned for the stretch drive. They're still just one point behind the Buffalo Sabres in the race for top spot in the Northeast Division, which would guarantee a top-three playoff seeding. Ottawa is currently fifth overall in the Eastern Conference standings and sitting in a post-season spot by a comfortable 11-point margin.

"It’s been huge for us, there’s no question," Alfredsson said of the streak's impact. "I don’t think we can understand how big it’s been until the end, but it’s put us in a great position, where we are right now going down to the last push here.

"We just want to keep it going and try to improve. I think we’re still not where we think we can be, but we’re definitely (putting) ourselves in a good position."

Goaltending consultant visits Senators

John Stevenson, a goaltending consultant from Alberta and a one-time member of Senators head coach Cory Clouston's staff when he was with the Western Hockey League's Kootenay Ice, was on hand to work with the Senators' stoppers this morning. The team has been without a goaltending coach since Eli Wilson was relieved of his duties last month.

"We're going to wait and see how we use him, but he's a very intelligent man," Clouston said of Stevenson, who runs The Goalie Centre in Sherwood Park, Alta. "He did a good job for me in Kootenay. He was down in Binghamton last week and we thought it would be a good idea to have him up here and Bryan (Murray, the Sens' general manager) would have a chance to meet him.

"I'm not exactly sure how it's going to shape up over the next few days. It's just (a chance) for him to meet everybody and move forward from there."

Around the boards


The Senators haven't beaten the Flames since Feb. 21, 2004, when they posted a 2-1 victory at Scotiabank Place ... Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff owns a 5-0-0 lifetime record against Ottawa ... Fun fact: Senators defenceman Matt Carkner earned his first NHL point against the Flames on Feb. 6, 2006, when he recorded an assist in his league debut as a member of the San Jose Sharks. The goal scorer on that play? Current Ottawa teammate Milan Michalek ... Fewer than 1,500 tickets remain for Tuesday's matchup with the Flames. It's also a Metro Family Game Night, where fans can score four tickets, four hotdogs and four drinks for $99.


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