Senators Notebook: History suggests it's no time to crow
Friday, April 13, 2007
By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
OTTAWA -- Many of the Ottawa players and coaches wound down after Game 1 of their series with the Penguins Wednesday night by watching the Dallas-Vancouver game, but most. if not all missed the wee-hours ending.
The Canucks won, 4-3, in the fourth overtime.
"I got to two overtimes, and that was it. I feel asleep," said Senators center Jason Spezza.
Spezza knows how such a long game can affect teams, especially those that lose in marathons.
He played for Binghamton, Ottawa's minor-league club, during the 2004-05 NHL lockout season. Binghamton, with eight current Senators, faced Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, with eight current Penguins, in the American Hockey League playoffs that spring. Game 3 went to a fourth overtime.
"We were up in the series, 2-0, and we lost [3-2] to make it 2-1," Spezza said. "We only had two lines because we had an injury. We were exhausted the next night, and they beat us. Then, we were junk in Game 5. That was the turning point in the series."
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins won the series, 4-2.
Game 2 nightmares
Ottawa has never led a series, 2-0, because of an 0-6 record in Game 2 after the Senators win the opening game of a series.
"I just found that out [yesterday] morning," winger Dany Heatley said. "Whatever. That's a great stat for [reporters]. We don't care about that. We just want to come out [tomorrow] and play like we did early on [Wednesday] night."
Two-man edge no advantage
Ottawa did not have a lot of trouble dispatching the Penguins, 6-3, in Game 1, but the Senators could have made things more decisive if they had been able to score on two 5-on-3 advantages in the first period after they had a 2-0 lead.
"We just played too far from the bottom man on the 5 on 3, that was all," Ottawa coach Bryan Murray said. "We'll make an adjustment, and, hopefully, we'll get a few more chances to prove what we can do."
Comrie misses practice
Winger Mike Comrie, who scored the Senators' sixth goal in Game 1, was the only member of his team who did not practice yesterday.
"Mike's fine," Murray said. "I gave him the morning off. He's bumped up a little bit."
Murray said he didn't know what Ottawa's bench penalty with 38 seconds left in Game 1 was for because he was first told it was for a Senators player on the bench grabbing a Penguins player, but it was reported as unsportsmanlike conduct for abusive language toward an official from someone on the bench. Murray said he didn't think the Senators were guilty of either. ... Although Game 1 was a sellout at Scotiabank Place and Game 2 tomorrow afternoon likely will be, there were 1,000 tickets left Wednesday morning for the series opener and 300 for Game 2. By yesterday, there were 200 left for tomorrow. ... Scotiabank Place construction began July 7, 1994, and the Senators opened it Jan. 17, 1996. That's a faster pace by several months than the Penguins and Pittsburgh expect for the new facility that will be built across the street from Mellon Arena.