OTTAWA -- The power play, early in this NHL season, for both the Ottawa Senators and the New Jersey Devils is proving to be a little troublesome but for different reasons. The Devils are having a hard time capitalizing on their man-advantage opportunities while the Senators are having a hard time not providing their opposition with them. New Jersey did manage to score a power-play goal Thursday night in their 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators, but they had seven power-play chances. Travis Zajac scored early in the third period with the Devils heading towards the end of an extended 5-on-3 advantage. It was the teams first power-play goal since the third game of the season and just the second theyve scored thus far. The Senators, on the other hand, have gotten into a bad habit of taking bad penalties all season long, and have allowed at least one power-play goal against in all but two of their seven games this season. They have been shorthanded 38 times -- tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for most in the league -- and have allowed seven goals against. Twice they have allowed two goals in a game and in both of those games they lost by a single goal. "We take way too many penalties and in my opinion theyre lazy penalties, for want of a better term," Senators coach Paul MacLean said after Thursdays win. "We reach instead of moving our feet and skating and we end up taking penalties because were reaching with our stick and that turns momentum the wrong way. With seven-and-a-half minutes left in the second period were up 2-0 and we take four minor penalties. All four of them we didnt have to take." Two of the penalties the Senators took Thursday were for holding, another for hooking and another for interference. Those are all the types of penalties that drive coaches crazy. "Thats something that were going to have to clean up. Especially the ones in the offensive zone and the ones when we dont have the stick on the ice," said Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson, who has taken but a single minor penalty this season. "Some of them are unnecessary penalties and those are the ones that we need to clean up. Hopefully we can learn it soon." While the Senators discipline problems may have cost them in a couple of games, the Devils misfortunes with their opportunities has as they continue to search for their first win of the season. The club had only 15 power plays heading into Thursday and despite going just 1-for-7 against the Senators, their percentage rose from 6.7 percent to 9.1 per cent. They also climbed from 29th to 28th overall. They only had 10 opportunities in their first five games, including a 5-4 loss to the Edmonton Oilers when they were 1-for-3. In the past two games though, they are a combined 1-for-12. "It was much better than last game," Devils winger Patrik Elias said, referring to a 3-0 loss in Winnipeg Sunday when they went 0-for-5. "We created chances (Thursday) but the first five games before that we had maybe one (opportunity) a game so that doesnt tell you much about the power play. Tonight was much better. We were creating chances off of shots but youve got to score those goals, no question." The Senators didnt take a penalty in the third period so once the two penalties they took late in the second were done, the Devils didnt get a chance to gain momentum from the power-play goal they did score. "We got it going in the third and we had some opportunities. (Ottawa goaltender Craig) Anderson made some big saves so it wasnt like we didnt generate offensive opportunities," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "Right now its Murphys Law and nothing is going right. We know well come out the other end of it, we just need it to happen now." 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"Im just happy Im able to be here playing tennis not only for myself, but for my country too. Laurent Brossoit Jersey . -- The Minnesota Vikings released reserve cornerback A.Every day pretty well, I check out the Blue Jays minor league stats to see whos trending upwards and whos tailing off. Saturday, the boxscore for Double A New Hampshire really caught my eye. Bostons farm club, the Portland Sea Dogs throttled the Fisher Cats right in their own ballpark. It was the most lopsided defeat in franchise history and the biggest shutout loss. That wasnt the biggest story though. It was the young man who started that game for New Hampshire, Aaron Sanchez. Regarded by many as the Blue Jays top pitching prospect, Sanchez didnt get out of the first inning. In fact he didnt even record an out. My first though was that maybe he was injured, but I called the Fisher Cats early Monday morning and was assured Aaron is alright. He just struggled mightily with his command. Sanchezs line was pretty ugly. He faced only six batters, walked four and a hit another, and the only batter to make contact reached on an error by first baseman Mike McDade. Though he didnt give up a single hit, Sanchez was charged with six runs, though only three were earned. Sanchezs entire season so far has been rife with growing pains. Hes 1-3 with a fairly respectable 3.54 ERA. However in just 48.1 innings, hes walked 34 men while hitting another seven versus 41 strikeouts. Its hardly time for the Blue Jays to panic. Sanchez looked great at spring training this year and wont turn 22 until July 1. Still, I wouldnt be looking for a quick call-up to the "Big Club", if any of the Jays starters falter or get hurt. Sanchez still has a ways to go on the developmental curve. On the flip side of that coin is right hander Deck McGuire. The Jays drafted him number 11 overall in 2010 out of Georgia Tech. In 2012, at Double A, he seemed to hit a wall and had a terrible season. Last year, again at Double A with New Hampshire, he had a bounce-back season and has continued to grow this year with the Fisher Cats. On Saturday after two strong starts with the Fisher Cats, McGuire was promoted to Triple A Buffalo. While not as highly regarded a prospect as Sanchez or Marcus Stroman, the Jays may yet get something out of McGuire, who turns 25 on June 3. After detailing Kyle Drabeks struggles over the past two columns, its only fair to mention how good he was last Thursday at Louisville. He pitched eight shutout innings, striking out five and walking only two in what became a 4-2 victory for the Bisons. Ricky Romero, whose struggles have been epic this season at Buffalo, was due to rejoin the club Monday after spending a few days in California to attend his brothers collegge graduation.dddddddddddd Ricky is pencilled in to start the Memorial weekend holiday Monday game at Indianappolis. The Blue Jays Mark Buehrle is well on his way to a 14th straight season of pitching 200 or more innings. As things stand right now, only three other pitchers have put together a string like that of 15 years or longer. The trio includes Gaylord Perry (15 years), knuckleballer Phil Niekro (15), and lefty Warren Spahn (17). All three are Hall of Famers. They also won over 300 games each. Buehrle (8-1) on the season has 194 wins at age 35. With their recent spurt, including six straight wins, the Blue Jays only have to go 62-49 the rest of the way to finish with 91 victories. Thats a number that should put them in the post-season for the first time since 1993. Around the Majors What in the name of Bobby Valentine has gone wrong with the Red Sox? The defending World Series champs, making like Valentines team of two years ago, have dropped 10 in a row and have been swept in consecutive series by Detroit and the Blue Jays at home and Tampa Bay on the road. Theyre in last place in the AL East, eight games back of the Blue Jays and six games out of the second Wild Card position. On the plus side, Bostons farm system is reputed to be strong, especially at Double A Portland. The Sea Dogs second baseman, Mookie Betts, is a sparkplug speedster who because of the presence of Dustin Pedroia may ultimately wind up in Bostons outfielder sooner rather than later. From the "go figure" file, the Texas Rangers have used a Major League-high 39 players so far this season and have utilized the disabled list 17 times. Yet in the same week they found out that Prince Fielder and Jurickson Profar were gone for the season, the Rangers went into Comerica Park in Detroit and took three out of four from the powerhouse Tigers, outscoring them 35-15. Houstons rookie right fielder George Springer has had his moments defensively, but he is really picking it up at the plate. Hes slugged four homers in the last three games, including two on Sunday to give him seven on the season to go with 22 runs batted in. The Astros though still have the worst record in the Majors at 19-32. Until the other day, I did not know that in his pitching days Babe Ruth threw sidearm. In his relatively brief time on the mound as a full-time starter, he was regarded as the best lefty in the Majors. The best pitcher period, in those days, was Walter Johnson. "The Big Train" also threw sidearm. Makes you wonder why that style barely exists in the Majors today. Cheap Jerseys Free ShippingCheap NFL JerseysCheap Jerseys ChinaCheap JerseysJerseys From ChinaCheap Jerseys Free ShippingCheap Nike NFL Jerseys ' ' '