Senators postgame report: Easy Does It

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

If you’re looking for a single philosophy to explain why the Ottawa Senators have been able to string together a 6-0-1 stretch – including a 3-0-1 road trip that ended with a tidy 3-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild Tuesday – it’s the Kiss Philosophy.

“We’re being responsible with the puck, getting it out when we’re supposed to,” said centre Zack Smith. “We talk a lot about knowing the time of the game, if it’s the last couple of minutes and if we’re up, to not try and push plays that aren’t there. That’s something we’ve improved on a lot. That’s the difference when you’re trying to hold off a lead and I think it’s very evident on these last three road games on the trip. We were playing stingy hockey, not giving them a whole lot.”

Goaltender Robin Lehner, who stopped 27 shots for his second career shutout, agrees completely.

“If the play isn’t there, we’re not forcing it,” said Lehner. “We’re not forcing plays, so there aren’t as many turnovers, not as many dangerous chances in our end.”

Coach Paul MacLean is impressed that his players – and young players, in particular – have discovered the route to success.

“We’re getting better and better in our zone and that’s what young players do for you,” he said. “They can give you some headaches at the start, but if you can be patient and get through the growing pains, it can be quick and it can be radical.”

By the numbers

32: Senators shots

27: Wild shots

16-5: Zack Smith record in faceoff circle

15-3: Senators shots advantage in first period

2-for-4: Senators power play record

0-for-3: Wild power play record

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