Ottawa 1, Buffalo 5; Binghamton 1, Rochester 3

The Senators dropped their fifth game in a row with an uninspired effort against the Sabres.  I missed most of the game’s first period, but what I saw in the rest of the game was a team that was ineffective offensively and struggled with defensive coverage.  For the box score go here linkKarlsson, Kuba, and Daugavins lead the minus brigade (each -3) with Alfredsson and Cowen the only players without.  A look at the goals:
1. Buffalo, Roy
Smith is unable to tie up Roy‘s stick after Anderson makes the initial save
2. Buffalo, Ellis
Konopka turns it over and neither Gonchar nor Winchester are able to tie-up Ellis in front of the net for the rebound
3. Gonchar (Karlsson, Spezza) (pp)
A great one-timer on the feed from Karlsson
4. Buffalo, Leopold
Spezza gives up on his check and Leopold cashes in unopposed
5. Buffalo, Adam
Phillips is unable to take away Adam‘s stick as he cashes in on a rebound
6. Buffalo, Leino
Karlsson blocks the shot which pops up and falls into the net

I didn’t think any of the Senators stood out tonight, so I’ll focus instead on players who struggled:
Zenon Konopka – was guilty of the turnover for the second goal and took a dumb penalty at the end of the second period
Jason Spezza – gave up on his check for the third goal and was murdered in the faceoff circle
Craig Anderson/Alex Auld – these guys have got to bail out their teammates once and awhile; the Sens out shot and out chanced the Sabres and lost by four

The Binghamton Senators lost their sixth game in a row and continued to struggle to score.  I did not see the game so I’m reliant on reports about it (for the box score go here link; Joy Lindsay’s game summary should be here link, but is as yet incomplete).  Petersson scored the lone goal for Binghamton, who actually out shot Rochester (Cannone and Petersson lead the way with 5 shots each).  Lehner took the loss.

The Elmira Jackals lost 5-4 to Reading tonight; Maxime Gratchev had an assist and Brian Stewart allowed no goals in 14 minutes of relief.


Senators News: November 11th

Daniel Alfredsson is expected to play tonight, while Chris Neil is out with a sprained ankle suffered in the Ranger game

The Ottawa Sun‘s Don Brennan writes excitedly about Stephane Da Costa (link), but the only worthwhile comment in the piece is this: “In the meantime, the Senators will spend this season running cold and hot, like they’ve done with a six-game winning streak and a four-game slump in their past 10. So will individuals.”  If Brennan actually wrote all his articles with this in mind he’d come across as less reactive and hysterical.

The Ottawa Citizen‘s Wayne Scanlan writes about the team’s upcoming road trip (link) and he includes an interesting quote from Chris Phillips, “It’s what our style is right now, to not be fancy. To get pucks in deep and grind teams down low. And be frustrating to play against. That fits in well to a road style game and hopefully is to our advantage.”  This sounds like a dump and chase style, but my impression was the team wanted to play a puck-possession game.  It’s possible that’s what Phillips means, but I wonder about mixed messages.

-Joy Lindsay writes that Kurt Kleinendorst ran a hard practice yesterday after Binghamton’s loss to Hershey (link).  Kleinendorst is concerned by how few shots on goal the team is generating, saying “I don’t know that we’re missing that many. But I don’t know that we’re generating many opportunities to get shots on net. When you spend a lot of time in your end, the shot clock goes up on one end and doesn’t really move much on the other. That concerns me, but I don’t really have a quick fix.”

-Joy Tweets that Robin Lehner will get the start tonight; Derek Grant will miss the game with a shoulder injury while Mark Parrish is a game time decision.  With Bobby Raymond recalled either Josh Godfrey or Shaun Heshka will sit.