Your Ottawa Senators opened up their 20th season at home last night as they looked to win their first game of the year. With a grand extravaganza to the whole night, from the players red carpet entrance to the return of the first Sens team in the modern era, the whole night was the kick-off to the Sens 20th celebration season.
With the Minnesota Wild looking to spoil the party, the game also featured the return of ‘The Hated One,’ as the Wild picked up
sniper Dany Heatley this past summer. With his second game in the nation’s capital since his trade, Heatley’s addition to the festivities heighten the atmosphere. Ottawa hoped to right a lot of wrongs they did over the first two games of the season.
With the Sens coming out strong in front of the home crowd, it was the Wild who were able to silent the home town crowd. On some sloppy defensive zone play, Kyle Brodziak was able to tip home his first of the year. After a Jason Spezza slashing penalty that was more of a love tap, the Wild increased their lead by two as Devin Setoguchi was left alone in the slot and sniped the top corner on Craig Anderson. The Sens went into the first intermission down 2-0, but they out shot the Wild 16-12.
The second period was dominated by the Sens as they out shot the Wild 13-2. Chris Neil took over the ice and began running over people. Clayton Stoner took the worst of Neiler’s hits and was rocked behind the Wild net. Check out the video of the massive hit.
With the Sens having not scored a goal yet in the first two periods of any of their games so far, it took Nick Foligno 8:17 minutes of the second period to finally break that horrendous trend. It was good to see Foligno get his first of the season as he did not score a goal last year until game 24 of the season. After forty minutes, the Sens trailed 2-1.
Looking to tie up the game, it was the Wild who struck as they regained their two-goal lead as Nick Johnson was the beneficiary of a blown slashing call and a unlucky bounce off a Sens stick. But the Sens did not crumble as they crashed the net and Chris Neil cashed in on a juicy rebound. Colin Greening capped off the third period comeback as he notched his second of the year.
Extra time gave us some interesting moments, but both teams failed to end the game. With the shootout ready to begin, Sens fans were ready for disappointment as the Sens have historically not fared well in the shootout. But maybe it was the 20th anniversary celebration, as the Sens went 3-for-3 in the shootout as fittingly, captain Daniel Alfredsson closed out the game as he snapped home the winner.
Here are the Game Highlights courtesy of NHL.com.
The Sens get on the board with their first win of the season. With the Colorado Avalanche in town Thursday night, the Sens will look to get to .500 mark or risk falling into a deeper hole this early into the season. Ottawa’s big boys are doing the damage on the ice, but the Sens still need their veteran defensemen to step up and carry the load. ‘Til next time Sens Army, GO SENS GO!!!
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