Changes required heading into Carolina
|Just as Bryan Smolinski was playing some of his best hockey of the season, he has gone down with an injury to his right shoulder.|
Bryan Smolinski experiencing "stiff pain"
Just as Bryan Smolinski was playing some of his best hockey of the season, he has gone down with an injury to his right shoulder.
The centreman said on Monday he won't play against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday but may return for action on Friday in New York against the Islanders.
"It's still really stiff," he said shortly after his teammates skated in practice on Monday.
"I will skate (on Tuesday) and see from there."
Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who started the season on a line with Smolinski, said it's a big loss to the club.
"It's tough for us to lose him. He's been playing really good for us, especially the past little while."
To fill in during Smolinski's absence, the Senators will call up a player from their American Hockey League affiliate Binghamton Senators.
A 60-minute effort is needed against Canes
Daniel Alfredsson says he expects a good road game from the Ottawa Senators in the wake of a 0-2 start against the Carolina Hurricanes so far this season.
"We have to play a smart road game, a good 60-minute game. Their goaltending has been real good, they're getting scoring from guys other than their top line and their special teams have been very good."
Has Martin Gerber gotten into the heads of the some of the Senators shooters after two impressive wins?
"He's been really good for them," admits Alfredsson.
"We have to get in front of the net more and get in on rebounds that he gives up. A goalie can get in your head but we're not too worried. We just have to limit the times we turn the puck over. When we do that, they're going the other way pretty quick. We have to sustain pressure in their end instead of chasing the puck."
During practice, Murray had his players run a 3-on-0 drill, which emphasized crashing the net. After one of the players would take a shot on goal shortly after crossing the blueline, all three players would drive to the net looking for rebounds.
Centreman Jason Spezza was asked for an opinion on how to solve Gerber with more success.
"We have to make sure we get the second chances. It could've easily been 3-0 before they scored their first goal (in the last meeting between the two teams). It's about being opportunistic."
Murray has seen one player dominate a game, like Gerber has in the first two meetings, before.
"It happens occasionally in this league where a player will take over a game, and usually it's a goalie," said Murray. "We have had enough scoring chances, now it's a matter of finishing. The biggest thing for us is to put pressure on their defence and not allow them to make a play. Or else they're going to attack on you. They use the stretch pass well, particularly to (Eric) Cole."
Murray unhappy with stick penalties
Murray said he was not happy with the amount of stick penalties his team took against the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 19.
"We have clips of video and we'll show (the Senators players) some of the penalties we've been taking. I will address this again tomorrow. We have to keep our sticks down so we don't give the referees opportunities to make a call."
Emery unaware of record
Ottawa Senators rookie goaltender Ray Emery didn't realize he tied a NHL record on Saturday night after a 5-4 win over the New Jersey Devils.
With the win, Emery tied Bob Froese of the 1982-83 Philadelphia Flyers with eight straight wins to start his career.
"That's cool, I didn't know that," said a surprised Emery after practice on Monday.
"At the start of the year there was some buzz about the team's goaltending. There was some question on me, if I could fill in if something happened to (Dominik Hasek). It's great to have a team like this to support me."
The win was extra special because despite late penalty troubles, Emery and the Senators were able to hold on to win against future hall-of-fame goaltender Martin Brodeur.
"It wasn't the way I wanted it to finish off but it was definitely something I will remember," Emery said.
The Hamilton native is now 5-0-0 this season. His other three wins came during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons.