The post-game report: Senators looking for more second opportunities

The Ottawa Senators weren’t happy with the end result, but they weren’t beating themselves up over a 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers Saturday afternoon at Canadian Tire Centre.

The post-game report: Senators looking for more second opportunities
Ryan Smith has a chance to score on Robin Lehner but looses control of the puck in the 2nd period as the Ottawa Senators take on the Edmonton Oilers in NHL action at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. (Wayne Cuddington / Ottawa Citizen)

The Ottawa Senators weren’t happy with the end result, but they weren’t beating themselves up over a 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers Saturday afternoon at Canadian Tire Centre.

They had plenty of chances to score, getting five power plays and outshooting their opponents 36-21.

But they admitted they need to work on augmenting those chances with “more dedicated net-front presence,” in the words of coach Paul MacLean.

Chris Neil said the Senators need to get better at hopping on rebounds — and he should know. He scored Ottawa’s lone goal of the game, pounding at the puck at the side of the net until it flipped up and over Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk.

“Coming from that western swing, playing San Jose and Anaheim and (teams) like that, they get second and third chances at the net, and that’s something we’ve got to, as a team, as a whole, get better at.”

LEHN GETS TRAIN BACK ON TRACKS

Robin Lehner wasn’t pleased with his first period — he allowed two goals on seven shots — but he felt like he recovered nicely after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put the Oilers up 2-0.

“That’s all you gotta do, you’ve got to be patient and bounce back, and I think we all bounced back a little bit,” he said.

Lehner probably should have had the first goal, a deke at the side of the net by Jordan Eberle, but the second was more bad luck than bad goaltending. He was handcuffed a bit by a blazing snap shot by Oilers winger Nail Yakupov, and the puck bounced to Nugent-Hopkins for a tap-in.

“(Yakupov) was pretty close and got a good shot up, and I just got my glove up there and I didn’t even see really where it bounced because there was a little scramble in front, and I saw it too late,” he explained. “I just tried to make a reaction save on the first one … too bad I didn’t catch it in the pocket.

BY THE NUMBERS

30:37: Ice time for Erik Karlsson to lead all players.

3:09: Ice time for Matt Kassian to trail all players.

5:57: Ice time for Binghamton call-up Derek Grant in his season debut.

11: Shots directed toward the net by Karlsson (four successful, five blocked and two missed).

4: Goals on the season for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins after scoring twice (once into an empty net).

8: Points on the season for Taylor Hall, who left the game with a knee injury.

32: Hits for the Senators, led by Neil (5).

16: Hit by the Oilers.

1: Shot for the Oilers during a two minute 5-on-3 advantage.

MACLEAN SPEAKS

PHOTO GALLERY

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