Ottawa rookie senators drop ugly 7-2 decision against Habs in Buffalo

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The Ottawa rookie senator took one on the chin on Sunday afternoon.

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Unless the Senators want to leave Buffalo’s 2022 prospects challenge empty-handed, the club will have to work together on Monday afternoon after the 7-2 decision was dropped against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday at LECOM Harborcenter in Buffalo.

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Goalkeeper Kevin Mandolizi wasn’t at his best, but he didn’t get much defensive support as the Senators lost for the second time in a row in this tournament after losing 5-4 to the Boston Bruins on Friday.

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Senators dominated every part of the game. Only Angus Crookshank and defenseman Zachary Massicotte managed to score for Ottawa.

In fact, the senators did not give themselves a chance to win this.

“We knew, based on today’s squad, we were going to be very difficult,” Bellville coach Troy Mann told reporters in Buffalo. “I loved our start. I thought we could play five-to-five too early, but unfortunately they were able to go 4-1 and we really needed the next stop at 4-2.

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“I thought we had some pressure and they got the fifth kick that (Mandolese) usually stops and the match is over.”

The Senators ended up without striker Victor Lodin. He left the match in the first period after taking a hit along the boards of Arber Xhekaj of Montreal. Lowden no longer had an upper body injury and the senators didn’t like the injury.

The timing of the injury is not good for Lowden. If he wasn’t healthy to camp, it would be a huge blow. He acclimated to the club’s final game in Philadelphia at the end of last season, and is in a position to call himself up.

Cruikshank, who suffered a knee injury that required surgery following an injury from Xhekaj last September, was not impressed by Loden’s injury.

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It’s a dirty blow,” Cruikshank said. “If you ask anyone in the room, there’s not a lot of respect for this guy and how he carries himself. At the end of the day, it’s hockey and you won’t like everyone but it’s hard to see a guy like (Lodeen) go down for sure.”

There was no invitation on the play.

“We definitely felt it was a shot in the head and a little bit late,” Mann said. “The referee and crew came and apologized (because) they missed the call. What would you do in those cases? It sounded like a dirty blow.”

Tournament number one Crookshank pulled the Senators into two goals and cut Montreal’s lead 4-2 after 40 minutes. This was as close as the Senators could get as he scored three unanswered lockups on the third to put them away.

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Leaving John Parker Jones to skate alone, he continued Montreal’s 4-1 lead with nine minutes to go.

Habs team advanced 3-1 over the strength of Xavier Simono in 9:29 of the second half. It was the result of a powerful triple pass from Montreal in the Ottawa area and Mandolese had no chance of that.

Late 2-1 after the first half, Massicott, who had been invited on a trial from QMJHL’s Shawingan Cataractes, scored the Senators’ only goal.

Early in the second, Massicotte dropped the gloves with Xhekaj, and sped straight to the locker room. Massicotte is no longer due to an upper body injury.

“That’s a character, right? Anytime these situations happen, you want someone to step it up,” Man said.

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Xhekaj said he complained to the referees later in the game because one of the players on the bench in Ottawa was “making some bad comments. I wouldn’t get it if he was going to say that. He’s now allowed to say that so I took it and made sure of it.”

Riley Kidney scored for Montreal seven minutes before halftime while Emil Heinemann gave the Habs a mere 1-0 advantage in the game.

Senators will close the round on Monday at 1:30 p.m. against Cypress.

The 26 rookies will then return to Ottawa and decisions will be made on inviting players to main camp. She will start on Wednesday with the doctors at the Canadian Tyre Center and will be the first session on the ice on Thursday.

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Center Shane Pinto, who had two goals in the loss to Boston, did not skate against a lockup. Neither did top prospective defender Jake Sanderson, the club’s No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 National Hockey League Draft.

The plan was always to play both of them in just one game and this was an opportunity to give them a chance to play Chemistry before the two battles to play time in camp. Judging by the end result, Senators could have used both players, however, it’s just a beginner’s game.

“It was a physical game and as much as they were playing physically, we have to get that energy back,” said Senators advocate Jorian Donovan. “If we clean up and reset for tomorrow, I think we’ll be better off.”

Twitter: @sungarrioch

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