Ottawa senators choose to keep their distance to try to curb the COVID-19 outbreak

As a result of Josh Brown’s positive test, the senators canceled his skating on Wednesday to try to slow the spread of the virus.

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If practice really makes perfect, the Ottawa Senators have missed a couple of chances this week.

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After canceling their session on ice Monday as a precaution with four players and a staff member on the COVID-19 protocol, the senators added defenders Victor Mete and Josh Brown to the growing roster on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The Senators open a three-game homestay Thursday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

As a result of Brown’s positive test, the Senators canceled their skating on Wednesday to try to slow the spread of the virus, but judging by the effort in a 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night on TD Garden, it may not be the worst scenario for the club.

Yes, the Senators lost their fifth straight game in Boston, but coach DJ Smith had no problems with the club’s level of competition and it somehow felt like a playoff atmosphere.

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“There are no moral victories in sports, but for a group with some youngsters, I thought we played the right way and we played hard,” Smith said Tuesday night. “That’s what the game required, it was an emotional game and it just shows how hard we played that the other team was excited.

“This was not your typical November game; I think the way we played got them excited and it was a really good hockey game. “

Smith is right. The Senators appeared to be down in the second period, but then came off the mat to tie Nikita Zaitsev 2-2 in the first of the season from a bad angle across the boards. From there, Brown threw a heavy punch and winger Alex Formenton got into a fight with Connor Clifton.

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Senators had every right to use the fact that they were understaffed as an excuse. That was not the case and the club competed to the end. There will be more retired Belleville players to face the Kings and the attitude cannot change.

With Erik Brannstrom, Egor Sokolov and Scott Sabourin already here, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see defender Lassi Thomson get a chance in this one. He recently returned to the Belleville lineup after missing five games with an ankle injury and all indications are that he has been solid.

Senators will need an effort similar to the one they had in Boston to stop this streak.

“I thought we played a pretty solid game overall,” winger Drake Batherson said. “That’s what DJ wanted from us, he wanted us to play a full 60 minutes and he wanted us to defend well. I know we lost but I thought we did a good job overall and it’s something we can take advantage of, especially with the missing guys.

“We want to win, but hopefully with this final stretch coming up, we can get some wins.”

Senators are trying to use the adversity the club faces as a rallying point for success.

“It’s a tough time, we have a lot of guys with COVID-19 and it’s stressful for the guys and their families,” Batherson said. “Hopefully, we can fix it and continue to play well. He’s given other guys the opportunity to play different roles, so that’s been good too. “

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Twitter: @sungarrioch

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