Thankfully for the Ottawa Senators they’ve somehow managed to survive the bad math equation to start the season.

Before Thursday’s games the Senators had been short-handed more per game than any other NHL team forced to try and kill off 16 minor penalties in only three games.

They’ve done a lousy job of dealing with those short-handed situations too yielding four goals a success rate of 75 per cent which ranked 21st in the league. Those numbers also don’t include the game-winning overtime goal scored by Jeff Carter in Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles a shot that hit the net just as a penalty to Clarke MacArthur expired spoiling a spirited Senators comeback from a 3-0 first period deficit.

Yet for all that the Senators have escaped with at least a point in every game so far — a 1-0-2 record which could easily be an awful lot worse.

No wonder Senators coach Paul MacLean says there’s plenty of work to be done in advance of Saturday’s game against the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks went into Thursday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks a perfect 3-0 to start the season fresh from a 9-2 romp over the New York Rangers Tuesday which included four goals from 19-year-old rookie Tomas Hertl.

While MacLean says registering four points in three road games to start the season is a decent beginning he’s not getting carried away with what’s happened to date.

“Are we totally happy with how we’re doing it how we’re playing and going about how it’s happening?” he asked rhetorically. “No. But that’s what we have practice for. That’s why we have video and that’s why we have coaches — to get it sorted out and get ourselves to our identity as soon as we can. We’re not there yet. We’re there in a lot of ways but the discipline part of it has to be there and if we’re more disciplined then our penalty kill will be better.”

The Senators buried themselves early against Los Angeles with a first period parade to the penalty box. The Kings enjoyed the rarest of opportunities a pair of five-on-three chances in the first period. While they didn’t cash in with the two-man advantage they maintained the pressure to score with a one-man advantage twice.

A big key to it all was the agitating presence of Kings captain Dustin Brown who owned the first period. He scored twice and drew both Chris Neil and Zack Smith into taking retaliation penalties which ultimately resulted in goals.