Fri, 05 Mar 2021

Senators, Canucks searching for turnaround win in Vancouver

Field Level Media
25 Jan 2021, 07:19 GMT+10

Both the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators are looking for any positive vibes when they face off on Monday for the first of three consecutive meetings.

The Canucks and Senators both head into the trio of games in Vancouver on a losing skid and already struggling to keep pace with the rest oftheir North Division counterparts.

The host Canucks are coming off two straight losses to the Montreal Canadiens, the latest a 5-2 affair Saturday night. They have lost five of six games and were outscored 30-15 in the process.

"We're trying to figure everything out right now," defenseman Quinn Hughes said. "I saw (on) the scoreboard at the end that we're giving up the most goals in the league right now per game. Obviously, that's not something that we aim for. Especially as defensemen, I think we've got to take onus on that and ... as a team, we've just got to be better."

"Guys could be forcing a little bit," coach Travis Green said. "We talked about it before the game, about taking unnecessary risks when you don't have to. I think that's part of puck management. Part of decision-making is not only when you have the puck, but (also) when you don't have it."

If the Canucks can find a positive from their last game, Elias Pettersson finally scored a goal to snap the longest point drought of his career. Even still, the young star has managed a mere two points in seven games to start the season.

"It was great to get one, but I'm more concerned about us winning games," Pettersson said. "We have five losses now in seven games. A lot of stuff to work on. As for not contributing or making plays or creating scoring chances, I've got to be better with the puck and not turn it over, and just play better defense.

"We know it's a hard league, the best league in the world. We know how hard it is to win. We definitely need to work on some things to be more successful. We know what we're capable of, it's just finding it."

Ottawa's arrival provides the Canucks an opportunity to build some momentum. The Senators enter after a 6-3 loss in Winnipeg to kick off a seven-game road swing, in a game in which they held a 3-2 lead going into the third period but surrendered four unanswered goals. They dropped three straight games to the Jets and have lost four consecutive outings since upsetting the Toronto Maple Leafs in their season opener.

"We did a lot of things better than we did (Thursday) night but, at the end of the day, the result isn't what we want. The third period was very unfortunate for us," coach D.J. Smith said. "You can't stop playing. The message was to stay on the gas and go get these guys. A blatant turnover in the middle of the ice ends up in the back of your net, that's not going to get them."

"We did some really good things in 40 minutes of hockey, and then the start of the third we kind of sat back on our heels," said forward Derek Stepan, who took blame for a penalty that led to Winnipeg's game-winning power-play goal.

"I'd like to see us be on our toes a bit more in the third period, but this one stings for me right now."

--Field Level Media

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