Senators come up short against Bruins

In the end, it was close, perhaps closer than it should have been.

Senators come up short against Bruins

In the wake of Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean didn’t point his finger at his goaltender, Alex Auld.

He pointed it at Auld’s teammates, who didn’t start to play until the third period.

“We only played 12 minutes of the game,” said MacLean.

“You’re not going to win any game playing 12 minutes. So we can’t blame the goalie for a game that the team didn’t play well in.”

That said, with Auld unable to do a convincing impression of Craig Anderson in his first attempt, you’d have to think that Robin Lehner would get his chance today against the New York Islanders

A late rally by the Senators made the Bruins squirm, but an empty-net goal by Patrick Bergeron, his second of the night, allowed them to get out of town with their fourth win over Ottawa this season.

Daniel Alfredsson had two goals for the Senators, while Erik Karlsson had a goal and two assists, which gave him 63 points, tying Norm Maciver’s record for points by a defenceman in a season.

Jason Spezza had three assists and now has 601 points in his career.

Auld let it one goal he’d like back – Brad Marchand’s first-period shot from the left circle that beat him to the far side – and was only partially satisfied with his play.

“I felt good but it wasn’t enough,” said Auld.

“It’s a good start. Obviously I can just worry about myself and the way I play and the way I prepare, but I felt I was in the game. I saw a lot of shots, probably the most I’ve seen all year.

“But you also play to win, and you want to win games, especially against teams you’re chasing.”

Carter Camper and David Krejci also scored for Boston.

Auld faced 38 shots while Thomas faced 30

Auld’s teammates stood behind him after the game.

“He hasn’t been in the net in awhile, obviously,” said Karlsson.

“But I think overall he did a good job. One unlucky goal there, there’s not much you can do. But we didn’t really help him out as much as we would have liked to.”

Daniel Alfredsson said the first two periods were the team’s downfall.

“We had a good push in the third period, but obviously the first two periods we’re not too pleased with,” he said.

“We didn’t move the puck quickly enough and we were forced to play a lot of time in our own end. It’s tough to get goals that way.”

Former teammates Chris Neil and Zdeno Chara were at the centre of third-period fireworks that started when Neil who levelled Johnny Boychuk early in the period. Chara wanted a piece of Neil then, but couldn’t get it because Neil also went down in the collision.

But with seven minutes left in the game, the two of them went at it.

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WHY THEY LOST: Simply, Tim Thomas was better than Alex Auld, but that’s hardly a surprise. Thomas has owned the Senators.

STUD: Patrice Bergeron. The puck seemed to follow him around all night, and he was rewarded with a goal and an assist.

DUD: Ottawa’s power play. It has looked great in the last four games before Saturday but could barely get into the Boston zone during two chances.

A GOALIE TO AVOID: Let’s hope the Senators don’t meet the Bruins and Tim Thomas in the first round of the playoffs. After Saturday’s game, Thomas has a career record of 23-8-2 against the Senators, including 11-4-1 at Scotiabank Place. He has won 14 of his last 15 games against Ottawa.

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