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Answering the call

Wednesday, 14.03.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
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Answering the call
Ottawa Senators head coach Bryan Murray, left, is pleased with how Andrej Meszaros, right, and his defensive partner Wade Redden picked up their play last night.

by Todd Anderson

Ottawa Senators head coach Bryan Murray is pleased with the improved play from two of his top defencemen during last night's 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the New York Rangers. Down 2-0 after 20 minutes, the Senators stormed back to win, and the contributions from defencemen Wade Redden and Andrej Meszaros were a big reason why.

"I just made a comment last night to Wade and (Meszaros) that as a pair they're real important to us," Murray said after practice today. "They were on for the first two goals (against the Senators) in the game, and it had a little bit to do with just competing for the puck. After I jumped on them a little bit in between periods, I thought they played much better, with more emotion, and not only because (Meszaros) scored, but I thought they became more forceful as a pair. We need that from them down the stretch and in the playoffs."

Meszaros ended a 21-game scoring drought by recording his seventh goal of the season in the third period. The goal stood up as the game-winner. Murray says he's impressed with how the duo responded to his message.

"Just get involved in the game," Murray recalls saying to the defencemen last night. "Maybe that's called emotion. Be physical when you can be. Don't be afraid to carry the puck. Just be involved in the game more."

Meszaros says he can draw some confidence from last night's goal.

"After 21 games, why not?" he said. "It's a good feeling. It was a huge win for us, that's the main thing. (Murray) said some words to us after the first period, and it was good for us to play better.

"I'm trying to hit people every chance I can and be more aggressive in front of our net. Just being more involved in the play is important offensively and defensively. I just have to be more consistent."

Murray was pleased with how the team closed out last night's match.

"I thought it was a real determined second and third period. In the second, I thought we really came out with energy. We played hard and forceful and were able to tie it up and we got a play in the third period that won the game for us. It's two points that we needed."

Murray says games like last night will help his team prepare for the playoffs.

"I think playing good teams that are desperate brings a level of competition out that you need," Murray says. "I think the Rangers came out as a desperate hockey team. They were on a good roll. They hadn't given out much and they were really playing hard, the whole group of them. We had to match that and that was good for us."





1 MTL 64 41 18 5 172 142 87
2 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
3 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
6 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
7 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
8 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43


E. Karlsson 62 15 34 1 49
B. Ryan 58 17 31 9 48
K. Turris 62 16 29 -3 45
M. Hoffman 59 23 17 24 40
M. Stone 60 15 25 12 40
M. Zibanejad 60 16 19 3 35
C. MacArthur 53 13 13 -10 26
M. Michalek 57 11 15 -1 26
D. Legwand 60 8 14 -4 22
A. Chiasson 56 9 12 -8 21
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02