OTTAWA – Senators head coach Paul MacLean was the first to admit it was about as ugly as it can get.
Gabriel Landeskog scored for the second straight night and the Colorado Avalanche routed Ottawa 7-1 on Thursday night.
“They were better than us in every situation and we didn’t play well from the start to the finish and we have a ways to go,” said MacLean.“I give a ton of credit to Colorado for the way that they played.”
Joakim Lindstrom scored twice for Colorado (3-1-0), while Landeskog, Milan Hejduk and Matt Duchene each had a goal and an assist. Daniel Winnik and David Jones scored their first goals of the season for the Avalanche.
Ryan O’Reilly had three assists and Avs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere faced just 16 shots in his first start for Colorado.
“It’s always important to get everyone going,”said Landeskog, the second overall pick in this year’s draft.“Tonight was one of those nights where you got the bounces and gave us confidence to move forward.”
Milan Michalek scored the lone goal for the Senators (1-3-0), while Craig Anderson, playing his first game against his former team, faced 39 shots.
Anderson had been looking forward to playing the Avalanche, but this was hardly the outcome he had expected.
“We weren’t at our best,”understated Anderson.“It’s a game about momentum and when you lose momentum how do you get it back and obviously we didn’t get it back very often.”
Ottawa got off to a great start, but things unravelled quickly.
The Senators took the lead for the first time this season on Michalek’s power-play goal, but it was short-lived as the Avalanche tied it three minutes later on a power-play goal by Hejduk.
Colorado took the lead midway through the period as Landeskog, with his second of the season, beat Anderson from in close.
The Senators continued to struggle through the second, managing just four shots and didn’t even register a single shot on the power play midway through the period.
Nick Foligno, who has been one of the Senators’better players since the start of the season, sat in his stall following the game looking completely dejected.
“We just didn’t grind it out as well as we should have,”said Foligno.“You’re not going to score unless you get shots. We know we need to get more shots, but we were playing the majority of that game in our end and you’re never going to give yourself a chance to win doing that.”
With less than three minutes remaining Colorado made it 3-1 as a bad bounce ended up on Lindstrom’s stick and behind Anderson before he had a chance to react.
The Senators’ best chance came in the dying seconds of the period as Stephane Da Costa missed a wide open net.
MacLean opted to dress seven defencemen for this game in the hope it would allow the Senators more opportunity to get the puck out of their own end, something the team has struggled with. But it was a problem again Thursday.
“We knew they were going to be a pressure team and be really aggressive and we just didn’t handle it as well as we would have liked and needed to for us to win the game,”said Daniel Alfredsson.
Alfredsson knows much will be made of this game, but he says the team just has to come to the rink Friday and be prepared to work hard.
“We knew we were going to go through ups and downs, but we just have to come to work (Friday) and get better,”said Alfredsson.“Obviously we would like to have some more points, but we’re going to continue and learn from this and get better.”
Despite having played the previous night in Columbus the Avalanche showed no sign of fatigue scoring a power-play and a short-handed goal to make it 5-1 before the third period was even five minutes old.
“The game against Columbus kind of glued the team together,”said Landeskog.“It really got us going and gave us confidence and we picked right back up (Thursday). Our momentum just carried us through the game.”
Colorado added two more power-play goals to make it 7-1 late in the game.
Notes: The Senators wore their heritage jerseys for the first time. … The Senators were without centre Jesse Winchester (shoulder, day-to-day) and defenceman Matt Carkner (knee, four weeks). … Winger Zenon Konopka and Erik Condra were a healthy scratch.…Colorado was without centre Mark Olver (head, out indefinitely), right winger Brandon Yip (arm, out indefinitely) and left winger Patrick Rissmiller (back).