The Ottawa Senators travelled to face the Philadelphia Flyers for this afternoon’s tilt. This is the first of a home and home series with the Flyers this weekend. It would be a good measuring stick to see where the Senators are after taking a 7-2 beating early in the season. Starting goalies would be Craig Anderson for Ottawa, and Ilya Bryzgalov for Philadelphia. The Sens were also looking to add to their four game winning streak and increase their hold on a playoff position.
The First Period
The Flyers would control the majority of the first period and it would end up showing on the scoreboard at 11:05. Chris Neil would attempt a huge hit in the neutral zone, but would end up missing the hit and putting himself out of the play. With numbers on the rush, Danny Briere would whiff on his attempted wrist shot. However, Anderson failed to cover the puck allowing Briere to grab his own rebound and put it in the open cage. The best Ottawa chance came on a Chris Phillips‘ wrister from the point that would find iron. The Senators found themselves outmuscled this period, with the Flyers getting several chances around the crease to increase their lead. Nevertheless, the Sens would only find themsleves down 1-0 after the first.
The Second Period
The second period would be a total 180 degree turn from the first with the Senators this time taking control. However, they would only manage to get one by Bryzgalov. It would be by none other than Milan Michalek (his first since returning from his concussion) who was able to pot his own rebound on a 5 on 3 powerplay at 11:05. Zack Smith would be inches away from giving the Sens the lead later in the period after wiring a shot off the post. This period also featured a fight between lightweights Briere and Kyle Turris. Turris wasn’t all too pleased about taking a spear from Briere in the groin area earlier and it led to them dropping the gloves. Overall this was a very solid period for Ottawa as they used their speed to create chances off of the numerous Flyers’ turnovers. After two, the score would be knotted at 1-1.
The Third Period
Ottawa found themselves lucky to be tied at the end of this one. After taking two straight too many men on the ice penalties early in the period they still remained tied. Shortly after Bobby Butler would get his 4th of the year on a nice rebound goal. However, a questionable goaltender interference call on Kyle Turris would finally break the Sens PK. Briere would get his 2nd of the game on the powerplay tie it it up. The teams would continue to exchange several chances, but would head to OT tied 2-2.
The overtime began with both goaltenders making huge saves to keep their team in it. It should have gone to OT, but with under 10 seconds remaining Chris Phillips would turn the puck over behind the net on a blind pass which would lead to Briere’s hat trick goal on the wraparound.
+ Pluses +
+ Erik Karlsson: Karlsson continues his impressive All-Star season racking up two more assists to increase his lead atop the defencemen scoring leaders.
- Minuses -
- Chris Phillips: With under 10 seconds left, Phillips made a rare panic mistake sending a blind pass to nobody and the result was the puck finding its way into the Senators net.
- Jared Cowen: Cowen seems to have hit a bit of a slump recently. He no longer looks like that potential Calder trophy candidate we saw a while back. He was also partly responsible for the OT goal, as he was unable to cover Briere in front of the net.
*** Senshot’s Three Stars ***
* Danny Briere: 3G 0A – Tore apart the Sens tonight and got the hat trick goal in style.
** Ilya Bryzgalov: 35/37 – Was extremely solid tonight, stopping several Senators odd man rushes.
*** Craig Anderson: 36/39 – The first goal was the only one that could blamed on Anderson. He was one of the reasons this game got to OT.
Brutal turnover by Phillips to prevent the shootout (which Philadelphia hasn’t won once this season). Was also a blast to past waching the Sens take two too many men penalties (ala Cory Clouston). The Sens also continue to struggle on the odd man rushes, not even getting a shot on net on a 3 on 1! Nevertheless you can see the huge improvement this team has already gone through from the beginning of the season. They had a shot to win this game and will get another chance tomorrow back at SBP. Until next time, Go Sens Go!
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