‘It’s been a struggle’ for Senators

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Coming off a second-round playoff exit in the spring, there were higher expectations of the Ottawa Senators in the fall.

But the results so far haven’t met the standard set prior to the start of the 2013-14 season. The Senators, with a new captain this season in Jason Spezza after Daniel Alfredsson signed with the Detroit Red Wings, resume the NHL schedule after the break against the Boston Bruins on Friday.

They currently sit sixth in the Atlantic Division, with a 15-17-7 record and 37 points. They trail the Toronto Maple Leafs, fifth in the same division, by four points.

Prior to their surprising 5-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, the Senators had lost three straight and four of five games.

“It’s a tough a league. I don’t think we expected to be at the top but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think we’d be in a better position than we are right now,” Senators veteran defenseman Chris Phillips told the Ottawa Sun.

“Internally, we probably have the highest expectations of anybody. That’s the nature of who we are. We saw what we can accomplish last year and we thought this year would be better. It’s been a struggle.”