Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sens Will Have to Keep Playing at High Level to Break into East Playoff Picture

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sens Will Have to Keep Playing at High Level to Break into East Playoff Picture

Article excerpt

Surging Sens still outside playoff picture

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OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators have been playing their best hockey of the season of late, but it still hasn't been enough to get them in the playoff picture.

The Senators have gone 7-1-2 in their last ten games, but as of Friday remained one point back of the Washington Capitals for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

On Saturday the Senators take on the New York Rangers who have gone 7-2-1 in their last ten to sit sixth overall in the Eastern Conference. With 53 points the Rangers have a two-point lead on the Senators, but Ottawa has a game in hand.

"They're playing equally as good as we are right now," said Senators captain Jason Spezza. "They're not allowing very many chances against and they're a team we're going to be battling with down the stretch. We don't need to scoreboard watch to know they're a team we're battling with. We know it's an important four-point game."

This is the first of three meetings between the two teams and Spezza says they could be defining heading down the stretch.

The Senators had a great opportunity to gain ground in the standings Thursday, holding a 4-3 lead late in the third against the Montreal Canadiens. They ended up settling for just a single point after losing in overtime.

"We're disappointed with the end result because we had the lead," said Spezza. "We're happy we didn't roll over when it was 3-0 and we found a way to come back and get that point. So you can take positive, you can take negative."

For some the loss was even more infuriating after watching Montreal's P.K. Subban tug at the crest of his jersey after scoring the overtime winner.

Senators' goaltender Craig Anderson, who gave up the goal, was less than impressed with Subban's goal celebration.

"It was unnecessary," said Anderson. "You didn't see us when we scored our overtime goal skate around and throw our jersey up in the air like that. It's one of those things where it's his character, that's the way he is. We all know that. It should make us all angry here that we don't want to have that happen again so we have to win the games."

Subban, who is in Toronto as the Canadiens prepare to play the Leafs Saturday night, was told some of the Senators didn't appreciate his celebration.

"I don't care," he said. "I don't care. It's the game of hockey. You're not disrespecting anybody. To be honest, that game's over. I don't really need to comment on it."

One thing is clear, the next game between the rivals will have plenty of excitement.

Senators coach Paul MacLean had no reaction to the celebration, saying he has his own team to worry about.

These days MacLean is worrying about getting his team into playoff contention. MacLean said ideally he would want the Senators holding on to a playoff spot heading into the Olympic break. …

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