In his final game in Ottawa, Ottawa Senators centre Mark Stone scored the winning goal with less than a minute remaining, but the crowd remained largely silent.
The Senators had been on a 3-1 road trip that included wins over the Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins and were riding a three-game winning streak that had them within two points of the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
But after Stone’s goal, the crowd started booing loudly, prompting coach Guy Boucher to ask for an intermission.
After the game, the Senators said they would have played in a few more minutes if they had a better chance to get Stone to finish off the game.
That, of course, didn’t happen, but Boucher says the team is not giving up.
“We’re going to do it, but we’re not going to let the fans get to us,” Boucher said.
“They’ve been booing the whole game.”
While Stone is back in Ottawa for the first time in two seasons, the team’s top scorer, Erik Karlsson, will miss the rest of the series with an injury.
Karlsson has not been cleared to play in the series, but his agent says Karlsson would be willing to return if the team was able to find an acceptable replacement.
Karlsons brother, Jason, played for the Senators for seven seasons.
Karl’s wife, Kristin, also played for them.
“It’s been an incredible run, but I think the biggest thing is we’re going through a lot of ups and downs together and we’ve all kind of come to the point where we’re both exhausted,” Karlsson said.
Karl is averaging 2.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in six games this season, but he’s still working on getting back to his previous level of play.
“I think we have a lot more in the tank now,” Karlsson said.
After a disappointing loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, the Sens are on a three game winning streak.
Ottawa’s last three losses came in Pittsburgh, Toronto and Tampa Bay.
The Sens are 10-2-1 all-time against the Penguins and 11-4-1 in their last 12 games against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“You’ve got to go back to the good times,” captain Erik Karlssson said of the last four games.
“The bad times were probably against Montreal.
The playoffs were probably a little bit tough.
The team has been playing great.
We’re playing the right way.
We’ve got the puck, we’re playing smart.
We just have to get better at the little things.
We know we’ve got a chance to win this series.”