Despite a solid, three zone effort in tonight's game, the Ottawa Senators ultimately came out on the wrong end of a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild. The Sens outshot and outhit the Wild over three periods, but a handful of chances for the opposition proved to be the difference over 60 minutes. Paul MacLean offered up his thoughts after the game.
Here's what he had to say...
On the loss:
Well it's disappointing. We got the game tied up again, but again, we're chasing the game. Anytime you're chasing the game it makes it hard, but on the positive side we look at the stat sheet and the balance is starting to go the other way, so that's a positive for us. We only gave up 25 shots at our net, the scoring chances are unofficially in our favour, we gave up a lot less. Are we going in the right direction? We think so, but we won't know until our next game.
On the team being more engaged:
Yeah, I think we were tonight. We had a good start to the game, I really thought it was another — in the second period, some of the issues we've had to this point reared their heads again and we gave up two goals quickly and they didn't really have to work real hard for them. Those, again, that reared its head and we had to fight back from that but we did, we got the game tied up with six minutes to go. We've got to find a way to bring it home.
On if they're getting close:
I think so, we have to keep working at it. We have to come here again — we get a day of rest tomorrow — we've got to come back and practice on Friday and we've got to get back to work, continue to work at it and get ready to play the Red Wings.
On what went right to cut down on shots:
I thought we were better — in the first period I thought we were very good coming out of our zone, our execution was much better, we were able to, because of that, establish a forecheck and ended up playing not the whole period in our end. And then in the second period we got to play too much in our end again.
On the winning goal:
He stepped in and shot it pretty quick, but there's a sort out there that should have been a simple sort out that wasn't and the forecheck at the other end was, I think when we were aggressive, it was a little passive under the circumstances. We should have been a little bit harder on it, but at the end of the day it's a poor sort out and the guy makes a shot…I think it was communicated it just wasn't executed.
On Michalek potentially breaking out:
I think usually when somebody gets one it gets going and I know he wants to play again pretty quick on Saturday. I thought Mika did a good job on the power play out there as well to get the thing tied up. We're just going to keep coming back like I said Friday and we're going to work at it again.
I thought Mika was good, I thought he had good energy and I thought he skated well. He took the puck to the net obviously on the first goal and I thought he really shot it for the power play.
On Mika working his way into the top six:
It certainly doesn't hurt (his chances), but I thought Cory Conacher was a pretty good player tonight too. I think both of them are making cases to play more and I think that's a good thing for our team.
I thought both him and Cowen had real solid games for us. They did the things we asked them to do. The overall game I thought was a real good starting point for Patrick for sure because he was out of the lineup and for Jared, maybe the two of them can form a partnership that can work for us.
On chasing the game:
We were, well we had the lead at the beginning and they tied it pretty quick. I thought we played well through the whole game except for — I don't know if it was the whole 20 minutes of the second period — but the start of the second period for at least until the second timeout we were in our zone and we turned over pucks and gave up goals. But other than that, again, it was a 50 minute game which is, in the league, not enough to win.
On facing a slumping Detroit:
We better be ready after our last visit there, I know that. But any time you go in there, it doesn't matter how they're playing going in or how you're playing going in, it could be a fun night.
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