for this game

Kings end slide, extend Senators' misery

Mar 7, 2008 - 7:41 AM
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Firing coach John Paddock apparently was not the answer for the Ottawa Senators.

Erik Ersberg posted a shutout for his first career victory and Alexander Frolov scored a power-play goal as the Los Angeles Kings halted a five-game slide with a 2-0 triumph over the struggling Senators on Thursday.

Patrick O'Sullivan added an empty-net goal for the Kings (27-37-5), who improved to 2-5-2 in their last nine and escaped the league basement. That dubious distinction belongs to the Tampa Bay Lightning (26-34-7), who suffered a 3-2 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday.

The loss dropped Ottawa to 0-2-1 on its current four-game road trip and 1-3-1 since general manager Bryan Murray relieved Paddock of his coaching duties on February 27 and took over behind the bench.

"We are just not playing good right now and we are not making quality plays," Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips said. "Mostly, this is mental, and the way we go out and play isn't the way we were playing earlier in the season. It's disappointing right now because we have been working hard and just have to get it going in the right direction soon."

The Senators have scored just three goals thus far on the trek.

"You have to be sure to get goals in this game," Murray said. "Right now, we are trying to do too much and just not playing our game. We've got to find a way to score goals. We have to win some games."

The Senators (37-25-7) also fell two points behind the Montreal Canadiens (37-22-9) for first place in the Northeast Division. Montreal posted a 4-2 win over Phoenix earlier Thursday.

Making his third straight start and fourth overall in the NHL, Ersberg was brilliant, making 40 saves for the Kings. The Swede, who turns 26 on Saturday, turned aside 16 shots in both the first and third periods while stopping eight in the second as he helped extend Ottawa's road losing streak to five games (0-4-1).

"I feel great and am happy right now to get my first win," Ersberg said. "The first win feels good. This is a great opportunity for me to show everyone what I can do. This is my first year here and I just have to play as hard as I can and make the most out of my opportunity."

Ersberg will share the Kings' goaltending duties with veteran Dan Cloutier now that Jason LaBarbera has been ruled out for the season with a sports hernia.

"It feels good to get some games here," said the 5-11, 182-pound Ersberg, who is 1-1-2. "I'm happy for every game I get here. Obviously, it's why I came over here (from Sweden), to play in this league. But we have a lot of good goalies on this team, so I'm just happy to get a chance."

Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford is giving Ersberg a chance despite his smallish stature.

"He's not the biggest guy, but he has great athleticism and lateral movements," Crawford said. "He reminds me of Ron Tugnutt because of his size and style of play. He's untested right now, and he gives us a chance to look at him."

Ersberg nearly had his chance for his first win disappear late in the third period.

With 1:58 remaining, Ottawa's Christoph Schubert unleashed a shot from the right side of the net that Ersberg stopped near the goalpost. As several Senators raised their arms to signal a goal, the referee called upon the replay officials, who were unable to find conclusive evidence the puck crossed the goal line.

"I had no idea whether it was in or out," Ersberg said. "It was in my glove, so it might have been tough for the referee to see, but I don't think it was in."

After a scoreless first period, Frolov gave Ersberg all the support he needed just over eight minutes into the second. Just nine seconds after Los Angeles' two-man advantage expired, the Russian received a pass from along the right wing boards by All-Star Anze Kopitar and fired a shot along the ice from the slot that beat screened goaltender Martin Gerber at 8:10.

Ersberg made the goal stand as the Kings were outshot, 16-3, in the third. However, one of Los Angeles' shots came from O'Sullivan, who deposited the puck into an empty net with five seconds remaining to seal the victory.

Gerber made 30 saves for the Senators, who conclude their road trip at Phoenix on Saturday.

"We didn't come out the way we wanted to in the second and third periods," Gerber said. "We had chances to score and missed a couple times. We just need to start putting some wins together."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0 0 0
    LOS ANGELES 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: LOS - (PP) ALEXANDER FROLOV 21 (ANZE KOPITAR, LUBOMIR
    VISNOVSKY) 8:10
    3RD PRD: LOS - (EN) PATRICK O'SULLIVAN 18 (DUSTIN BROWN) 19:55
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: OTT - 0 OF 3, LOS - 1 OF 6.
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Mar 7 1:12 AM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    LOS ANGELES 2
    3RD PRD: LOS - (EN) PATRICK O'SULLIVAN 18 (DUSTIN BROWN) 19:55

    Senators 0, Kings 2  3rd - 0:05Mar 7 1:08 AM
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    Senators 0, Kings 2  3rd - 0:05Mar 7 1:08 AM
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    Senators 0, Kings 1  3rd - 1:00Mar 7 1:05 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0 0
    LOS ANGELES 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: LOS - (PP) ALEXANDER FROLOV 21 (ANZE KOPITAR, LUBOMIR
    VISNOVSKY) 8:10
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 16 8 24
    LOS 8 21 29
    GOA

    Mar 7 12:12 AM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    LOS ANGELES 1
    2ND PRD: LOS - (PP) ALEXANDER FROLOV 21 (ANZE KOPITAR, LUBOMIR
    VISNOVSKY) 8:10

    Senators 0, Kings 1  2nd - 11:50Mar 6 11:46 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 16 16
    LOS 8 8
    GOALIES: OTT - MARTIN GERBER
    LOS - ERIK ERSBERG

    Mar 6 11:15 PM
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