Your Ottawa Senators battled the New Jersey Devils Friday night in a match of two of the NHL’s most ineffective offences. Going into the game, one had to wonder if either team would score. And with Martin Brodeur coming back from injury, the Sens job got a little harder. In the end, Ottawa skated away with the 3-2 victory with a little help from the referees. Needing a win badly, Ottawa had to have this one or you knew heads would begin to roll.
Erik Karlsson had a great game as he had a goal and an assist in under 23 minutes of ice time. Notching his fifth of the year, Karlsson now leads all defensemen in goals and points and is tied with Jason Spezza for second in points overall. After his two game benching a few weeks ago, Karlsson has responded with his better play as of late.Jarko Ruutu and Milan Michalek broke out of their respective scoring slumps against the Devils. Ruutu had gone 27 games without a goal before he netted the game winner. Michalek had gone nine games without a goal but has looked stronger and faster on his skates as of late.
Pascal Leclaire had a good game as he stopped 29 shots to record his third win of the season. Except for his brain fart in the second period on the Patrik Elias shot, Leclaire got the Sens the win in a game that they needed to have.
On the negative side, Bobby Butler had another poor showing as he only lasted two shifts on the top line before being relegated to fourth line duty and under eight minutes of ice time. Butler still needs more time in the minors to learn the pro game to get stronger and faster.
Here are the game highlights courtesy of NHL.com.
First Star: Erik Karlsson – earns it with a goal and an assist on the game.
Second Star: Jarko Ruutu – for breaking out of his scoring slump and netting the winner.
Third Star: Pascal Leclaire – for getting the win that Ottawa needed badly.
The Sens did not have any glaring negatives this game except for a few mishaps that led to Devils scoring chances. The Sens did get the win, however it was against an inferior opponent that the Sens needed to beat. The Sens need to build off this victory and learn they need to play a full 60 minutes to get the win. Up next for the Sens is the Atlanta Thrashers on Monday night. ‘Til next time, GO SENS GO!!!!!
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