Lehner, who will make his sixth straight start Tuesday night in Buffalo, was handed the reins after the all-star break when it was revealed starting goalie Craig Anderson had sustained a hand injury in a game against Toronto on January 21.
Since taking over Lehner has gone 1-4-0, allowing 18 goals and posting a .917 save percentage. Not exactly a glowing endorsement of his abilities.
Things came to a head Saturday night after the Senators (20-22-9) were defeated 4-1 by the Columbus Blue Jackets. After giving up the fourth goal late in the game Lehner threw his stick and at the buzzer went on to snap it over his knee.
Lehner was less than excited at revisiting the topic on Monday and said his actions were nothing more than a result of frustration over losing a third straight game.
"I always play with fire and when I play with too much fire that's a negative too," said Lehner. "You guys turn that into a negative too. Maybe I shouldn't throw the stick, but I'm not happy. I'm not happy with the result and it got to be a little bit too much.
"It's not because I think it's fun or I think it's cool to throw my stick. I'm embarrassed about it, but it happens."
Defenceman Marc Methot says he has no issue with Lehner showing his emotions, saying it's simply an indication of how much he cares.
"With (Lehner) you've got to know who he is as a person and he's very emotional and we all respect that," said Methot. "It's his competitive nature. With the way we played there was no reason for him to be happy about it.
"I have all the respect in the world for (Lehner) and that stuff doesn't bother me."
No one can blame the Senators for feeling frustrated as any hope of making the playoffs seems to have faded with this current losing streak as they sit 14 points out of the final spot in the Eastern Conference.
"When you're having a season like we are it's up and down," said forward Clarke MacArthur. "We're struggling to get goals so it's frustrating. You've got to do the best that you can to put it into your legs and skates, but sometimes the top blows off, the wires touch."
MacArthur says sitting 26th overall is tough for all of the Senators to accept right now.
"You never come into a season thinking you're going to be here or wanting to be here (in the standings)," said MacArthur. "It's been an odd season. I've never been in so many close games where you come up on the short end, it's been tough."
Notes: Anderson was on the ice before practice, but was unable to join the team for regular practice and will not make the trip to Buffalo. D Chris Phillips also missed practice and is expected to miss a week or so due to "wear and tear." With three weeks to trade deadline Methot reiterated his desire to remain in Ottawa and is hopeful contract talks resolve themselves sooner rather than later. Methot is slated to become a UFA this summer.