As the elder statesman of the Ottawa Senators, Claude Giroux is advising his young teammates to stay calm after dropping back-to-back games to their Atlantic Division rivals.
“As frustrating as it is, we have 76 games left. … It’s not time to hit the panic button,” the veteran forward told reporters after the Senators’ 6-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. “But it’s time to keep working on our game, keep finding ways to be consistent for 60 minutes. If we do that, we’re going to win hockey games and a bunch of them.”
He added: “We know what we’re capable of. … It hasn’t been a lot of games, but we’ve shown that we can play the right way and find ways to win. We’ve just got to be consistent in it.”
After starting the season 3-1-0, Ottawa closed out its five-game homestand by surrendering a combined 11 goals in defeats against the Detroit Red Wings and Sabres, two squads that are also looking to end lengthy playoff droughts.
The Senators were down 5-1 heading into the third frame versus the Sabres, but Vladimir Tarasenko, Josh Norris, and Mathieu Joseph all scored in a 3:23 span late in the period.
The comeback attempt would stop there, though, as Tage Thompson settled things down for Buffalo with an empty-netter.
“It just wasn’t good enough,” Senators rearguard Jakob Chychrun said of his team’s dramatic finish. “Good on us for sticking with it there in the third and making a push, but we can’t put ourselves in those situations.”
Like Giroux, Chychrun also believes cooler heads will prevail for the Senators.
“We have a lot of emotional guys in this room that care a lot and want to win,” he said. “I think we wear our hearts on our sleeves a lot in here, and it’s important to stay even-keeled in these moments.
“It’s early in the year, we’re not going to win every single game, but we need to really learn the lessons (from) some of these nights where we don’t have our best stuff and move forward with it.”
Ottawa next plays the New York Islanders on Thursday.