RALEIGH, N.C. — Robin Lehner put all the blame on himself.
“I don’t think we played that bad, but I was a big part of this loss,” Lehner said, moments after the Senators 6-3 defeat to the Carolina Hurricanes. “I take a lot of responsibility for this loss.”
Lehner stopped only 17 of 22 shots and was replaced by Craig Anderson after two periods.
While he had not previously played since shutting out the Minnesota Wild 2-0 on Jan. 14, Lehner wasn’t using inactivity as an excuse.
“It’s not about that. I had a bad day today. I didn’t make the right decisions and I had a bad outing. It was one of those days. They put them in some bad stops for me and I didn’t have it with me today.”
Lehner believes that he didn’t do his part to keep the Senators rolling in the moments when the team could have taken control..
“Every time we got something going, it felt like I found a way to stop the momentum, unfortunately. I’ve got to forget about it and move forward.”
The last part is easier said than done. The loss was pivotal in that it allowed Carolina to pass the Senators in the standings, a huge step backwards for the team.
“If we don’t think our backs are against the wall, then we’re kidding ourselves,” said Clarke MacArthur. “Every loss is a win for someone else and we’re two points further back. At the same time, you can’t panic, but you’ve got to be aware of the situation. We’ve got to start stringing (wins) together, that’s all there is to it.”
While Lehner had a rough afternoon, Senators coach Paul MacLean says he was hardly alone.
“You can’t expect to play catch up hockey all the time, you’ll never have any success consistently,” he said. “Today, we played catch-up the whole game. I think the whole team – the goals we gave up in the second period, we can’t just say the goalie gave them up – our whole team was out there. We turned over pucks and we weren’t in the right spots. We didn’t compete hard enough in the defensive zone. If you play too much in your own zone, they’re going to score on you.
“We have to not worry too much about this game and go home and get ready to go to practice on Monday and play again Tuesday.”
17/22: Robin Lehner saves, shots
23/26: Anton Khodobin saves, shots
29:24: Erik Karlsson ice time
25:06: Anton Khodobin ice time
3: Points by Nathan Gerbe (2 goals, 1 assist)
-3: Chris Neil plus/minus
2: Goals by Kyle Turris