Anderson, Borowiecki in against Stars as Senators look to snap losing streak

The Ottawa Senators are going with Craig Anderson in net against the Dallas Stars.

Anderson, Borowiecki in against Stars as Senators look to snap losing streak
Craig Anderson #41 of the Ottawa Senators makes a stop of a shot during the second period against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on October 9, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators are going with Craig Anderson in net against the Dallas Stars.

Robin Lehner was outstanding in a 5-4 shootout loss to the New York Islanders Friday night, setting a new regular season franchise record with 53 saves, but with little turnaround time (Ottawa plays at 1 p.m. Sunday at Canadian Tire Centre), coach Paul MacLean felt it would be unfair to run his backup goaltender out there again.

“Robin had to stop (57) shots,” he said after running practice Saturday afternoon. “In my book that’s usually two games.”

Other lineup changes revealed by the coach Saturday:

  • Mark Borowiecki draws in after being called up from AHL Binghamton;
  • Who comes out is still up in the air. The Senators are now carrying eight defencemen, and MacLean didn’t rule out dressing seven against the Stars;
  • He he doesn’t go that route, that means Matt Kassian will draw in to replace the injured Erik Condra. Condra tweaked something when he stepped on a stick early in Friday’s game and is expected to be out at least a week.

Beyond the injuries, MacLean’s grand line shuffle lasted another day.

Here’s how they lined up at practice:

MacArthur-Turris-Ryan
Michalek-Smith-Zibanejad
Conacher-Spezza-Neil
Greening-Grant-Kassian

Phillips-Methot
Cowen-Karlsson
Wiercioch-Corvo
Borowiecki-Gryba

MacLean weighed the plusses and minuses of sticking with the plan.

“I like the fact we scored four goals,” he said. “We had the lead in the game twice — 2-0 and 4-2 — so the offensive side of things, we’re finding a way to get things done, which is really good. It’s on the other side that we’re having some issues.

“But even on the other side of it, we seem like we have lots of people there (but) we have two guys doing the same job quite a bit.”

One combo that stuck out in a negative way was the Conacher-Spezza-Neil line. On the surface it looked disjointed and the players’ possession numbers were atrocious.

Here’s a breakdown of the five-on-five shot attempts (on net, missed or blocked), or Corsi in modern hockey stats parlance, when the players were on the ice.

Spezza: 7 for, 17 against
Neil: 5 for, 14 against
Conacher: 4 for, 14 against
(*Stats courtesy ExtraSkater.com)

If you based it purely on ice time, Spezza (18:12) was the third-line centre behind No. 1 Turris (22:45) and Zack Smith (18:32) — and Smith had but one second of power play time compared with 3:13 for Spezza.

So, yech.

Of course, it was just one contest, and they’ll likely get another chance to show they can be better Sunday afternoon.

MacLean wasn’t totally displeased with the line.

“We didn’t think their group was no good at all,” he said. “I mean, the other groups ended up scoring, maybe it’s not their night. But (Sunday) might be another day.

“We had Kyle play against John Tavares last night and I thought they did a real good job against them and we ended up, Condra got hurt, Jason was playing against Peter Regin’s group, and we felt starting out that that would be a good match-up for us, for Jason to have an opportunity to provide some offence for us, and if Kyle can shut down John Tavares, we have an opportunity to win the game.

“Now, it ended up not working that way perfectly, but for most of the game, we felt that it would.”

Asked whether the problem was players are over-thinking the game instead of just playing, MacLean said it wasn’t that simple.

“We haven’t been playing a particularly good brand of hockey, so to say just, ‘let’s go play,’ I don’t think is the right solution either,” he said. “I think we have to play the right way, we have to be organized about how we play. We have to play with structure.”

“A big thing for us is, we don’t get out of our end, and if you’re not going to get out of your end, you play too much in your end and bad things always happen.”

If bad things continue to happen Sunday, Ottawa’s losing streak will reach five games. Already trailing the playoff pack by five points after one month, they need to start locking down winnable contests.

Twitter.com/SensReporter

MORE FROM SENATORSEXTRA.COM

Senators recall defenceman Borowiecki from AHL

The post-game report: Quotable quotes, notable numbers

Poll: What should the Senators do now?

Scanlan: Never too early to worry about mediocrity

Senators turn to former MLSE exec in effort to sell more tickets

 

Tags: ,

What do you think? Leave a comment