Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets was the latest in a string of frustrating losses for the Ottawa Senators. The Senators have now seen their last five games decided by one-goal margins, and have won just one of those games.
Ottawa entered the month of February with a 5-1-1 record, but the team’s consistent wasting of solid efforts from goaltenders Craig Anderson and Ben Bishop now has them staring at a 6-4-2 record. In the loss to the Jets, the Senators threw 33 shots at Al Montoya but were unable to find the back of the net.
Bishop had his best outing of the season in only his second start this year, making 36 saves but still taking the hard-luck loss. A 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 5 now remains the only bright spot on this month’s calendar. Jason Spezza’s absence leaves a big hole up front for the team, but with Daniel Alfredsson and Kyle Turris as well as youngsters Mika Zibanejad and Jakob Silfverberg still capable of contributing to the team’s offense, goals should not be so hard to come by. Defenseman Erik Karlsson’s strong play continues, and his five goals lead the team. Logging nearly 28 minutes per game, Karlsson has established himself as one of the premier defensemen in the league.
The Senators will have a few days to sort out their scoring problems, as their next game is Tuesday against the Sabres. Anderson should be back in net, and he has to be hoping his team will start giving him more of a cushion to work with.