Your Ottawa Senators kicked off their 2011-2012 campaign with a tough match-up against the Detroit Red Wings. With not much expected from this very young squad, a test against the league franchise model was a good measuring stick to see where they stand. The end result leaves Sens Army preparing for a very long season.
The Sens were able to hang with the much stronger Wings for the first period as they were only out shot 11-9. Detroit was able to break the goose egg as Darren Helm sent Todd Bertuzzi in on a break-a-way that got Sergei Gonchar sleeping and sniped one over Craig Anderson‘s shoulder.
The second period exposed Ottawa as the young and inexperienced team they are. Turnovers and give-a-ways cost them as Detroit put up three goals in the frame. On turnovers by Chris Phillips, Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowen that led directly to goals by Nicklas Lidstrom, Cory Emmerton and Jiri Hudler and a 4-0 Detroit lead.
The third started right where the second left off as Ian White scored early in the period to increase the Wings lead to 5-0. As Detroit took their foot of the gas in the third, Ottawa was able to beat Jimmy Howard a few times on the man advantage. On some great work by Jason Spezza, he set-up Milan Michalek for his first two goals of the year. Then, as the period was winding down, the Swedish connection of Daniel Alfredsson and Mika Zibanejad set-up Filip Kuba for his first of the year. But that was all Ottawa could muster and the final was 5-3 for the Red Wings.
+ Pluses +
+ OFFENSE Everybody was wondering how the Sens would be able to score goals and if they could. With their three goal outing, Ottawa showed they have the skill to put the puck in the net.
- Minuses -
- DEFENSE Everybody expected the defense to be a bit of a project, but they were just horrible last night. As they left Anderson out their with no support, hopefully so more practice will shore up Ottawa’s end zone.
Here are the game highlights courtesy of NHL.com.
1st * JASON SPEZZA (OTT) ~ was one of the best players on the ice and showed that he is ready to carry this team offensively. Had two assists and created many more chances.
2nd ** MILAN MICHALEK (OTT) ~ had great speed all game and notched two goals. Hopefully this kicks off his comeback/breakout season.
3rd *** CORY EMMERTON (DET) ~ the rookie had a goal and an assist and is on pace for a 164 point season.
The Sens will quickly put this lost in the rear view mirror as they will take on the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight in round one of the Battle of Ontario. The Sens had a few good things happen in the game, but they also had many things go wrong. Hopefully they can learn from their mistakes and build on the positives and hand the undefeated Leafs their first loss of the year. “Til next time Sens Army, GO SENS GO!!!
**Don’t forget to buy your Tickets for SenShot’s Alfie Night in Ottawa on November 11th, 2011. Click here for more details**
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