RALEIGH — There was no escaping the glare of Robin Lehner, nor his frustration at a blown opportunity.
For the declared “backup” goalie, here was the chance to bring home consecutive wins on consecutive starts. The Senators gave their young goalie a chance to run with the ball, so to speak, in Detroit and Raleigh. At the first stop: elation, over a 4-2 Ottawa win.
Against the Hurricanes Sunday, back to the old roller coaster ride, a 4-1 defeat.
The Senators couldn’t do anything with a 1-0 lead, letting the roof cave in on three quick goals by Carolina. Game over.
Lehner was visibly upset that his teammates didn’t play with the vigour of Saturday night. There isn’t much question the team will go back with Craig Anderson for Wednesday’s game in Washington.
“We played aggressive in the first, I thought we kept them to the outside . . . in the second we just felt flat,” Lehner said.
Lehner was annoyed that Carolina forwards were given all kinds of time and space to finish, which they did with what he called “snipes.”
“We have to figure it out,” Lehner said. “We have glimpses where we’re pretty good, then those five, 10 15 minutes that kill us a lot of nights.
“For us to even think of making the playoffs, we’ve got to figure that out pretty soon.”
Lehner stopped 34 of 37 shots. The fourth goal was scored on an empty net.
Head coach Paul MacLean was equally frustrated.
“We had an opportunity to get some traction, with both teams on back to backs, we have a lead and we go on the power play and get one shot.
“We had a chance to take charge of the game there.”
PLAYER 8 FEEL SHAME
MacLean didn’t conceal his disgust for the Kevin Westgarth hit on Mark Borowiecki when the Ottawa defenceman was vulnerable, trying to regain his feet after falling. Westgarth slammed him into the boards, and was only given a two minute minor. NHL discipline chief Brendan Shanahan might give him more than that.
“I thought it showed a total lack of respect for a fellow player in a vulnerable and they should feel shame,” MacLean said. “Player 8 should feel shame.
At this point, Borowiecki is suffering from stiffness in his neck.
Minus Borowiecki, who was injured less than eight minutes into the game, the Senators had to run their remaining five defencemen hard.
Erik Karlsson saw 31:19 of ice time.
Marc Methot played 24:06.
Patrick Wiercioch: 23:08.
The Hurricanes lead the league in takeaways, with 233 coming into the Senators game. They swiped 19 more pucks against Ottawa, to the Sens eight takeaways.
Faceoffs were dead even at 50 per cent.