The Ottawa Senators faced the Winnipeg Jets for the first time in regular season since the team was relocated from Atlanta. Tonight’s game was a battle between two struggling teams, both looking to move up from the bottom of the Eastern conference.
The Senators came out strong, and had the help of an early 4-minute power play, but couldn’t finish. The closest chance came on the power play when Erik Karlsson fired a hard slap shot that had Pavelec beat, but rang off the post. The first goal of the game and the only one of the period ended up going to the Jets when Dustin Byfulgien shot a bullet past a screened Craig Anderson. Overall it was a busy period for the goalies as there were 25 shots between the two teams.
The Senators kept up the pace in the second and tied the game on the power play. Milan Michalek had great positioning in the slot to knock in the rebound of a shot by Jason Spezza. Later in the period, Spezza got his own goal as he one-timed a nice feed from Colin Greening over the shoulder of Ondrej Pavelec. The Senators out-worked and out-shot the Jets, and carried their 2-1 lead into the dressing room.
Sporting a lead to begin the third period for the first time this year, the Senators didn’t hold back on the offense. Intercepting a bad pass by the Jets, Daniel Alfredsson created a 2-on-1 rush with Zack Smith, opting to shoot and beating Pavelec on the far side to give the sens a 2-goal lead. Sens had to be careful defensively as they needed to kill 3 penalties in the later portion of the period. The Jets even pulled Pavelec with a bit over 5 minutes left to give themselves a two-man advantage during one of the power plays but Anderson held his ground and the Sens killed it off. Pavelec returned to his net at the end of the power play only to be taken out again a few minutes later. The Senators finished off the night with an empty netter, Michalek‘s second goal of the game. The game ended 4-1 Sens, as they picked up their Second win of the season.
*** Three Stars ***
1st Star * CRAIG ANDERSON ~ Stopped 35 of 36 shots to help give Ottawa the win. He kept Ottawa in the game and made not only many saves, but key saves at important times. He proved to the fans why he is the starter and it was his best game of the season by far.
2nd Star ** MILAN MICHALEK ~ Led the team with two goals and an assist. He was great offensively but was a factor in all aspects of the game, as he also helped the Sens go 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
3rd Star *** JASON SPEZZA ~ Had the game winning goal (the first by any Senator this year) and added two assists. He also had several great defensive plays to break up scoring chances by the opposing team.
The Senators played an all around solid game, and we’re able to beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. This is the first win in regulation for the Ottawa Senators, and it moves the team up from the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. The Senators finish their three-game home stand Saturday, against the win-less Columbus Blue Jackets, and will look to get 2 wins in a row for the first time this season. Until then, GO SENS GO!
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