Win, loss, win, loss. It’s been the story of an inconsistent Ottawa Senators team these past two weeks or so.
The Senators, looking to follow up Monday’s 3-2 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues with another positive result, fell flat against the New Jersey Devils in a 5-2 road loss Wednesday evening.
Afterward, the Senators held a closed-door meeting, which included general manager Bryan Murray according to numerous reports.
“It wasn’t a friendly [meeting],” Senators’ veteran defenseman Chris Phillips told NHL.com. “It was, ‘We gotta be better.’ We gotta expect more from ourselves and play better as a team.”
The angst is growing in Canada’s national capital.
“We’re clearly frustrated with our lack of being able to follow up a win with another win,” said Senators’ forward and captain Jason Spezza, as per the Ottawa Sun.
“That comes right from the top from every guy on the team. As an organization we’re all disappointed with our inability to string together some games and get any traction.”
The Senators made the playoffs last season, but will be in tough to repeat the feat by the end of the 2013-14 campaign.
They currently sit sixth in the Atlantic Division with a 14-16-6 record. A win against the Devils would’ve put them one point back of their provincial rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs, for fifth in the division.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.