It was round four in the Battle of Ontario tonight as the Senators took on the Toronto Maple Leafs” href=”http://editorinleaf.com/” target=”_blank”>Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The Sens have won two of three meetings versus the province rival Toronto Maple Leafs so far this season. It’s the second game in back-to-back’s for the Sens but with the way they skated in the 2-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets last night, they can hardly use exhaustion as an excuse. Ottawa looked to bounce back quickly and get back to their winning ways with a victory over their division rival.
The Senators began the period the same way they played all game against the Jets yesterday, lacking that energy that powered them through their nine game point streak. The first major action was a fight featuring who else but Zenon Konopka this time taking on Toronto’s Mike Brown. A fairly even brawl between the two added to Konopka’s already league-leading penalty minute total. It was unfortunately not enough motivation for the sens who saw themselves surrender the game’s first lead a few minutes later. Lombardi snapped a feed from Kessel past Anderson to give the Leafs a 1-0 lead. It was then a sub-par shift from defense Gonchar and Cowen that led to the formation a 2 on 1 and a 2-0 deficit for the Sens. Kessel picked up assist number two, this time passing to Lupul who fired it past a hopeless Craig Anderson. With a delayed penalty in the dying seconds Alfie decided to take charge and fired it past the untested James Reimer to skip the power play drama all together and bring the Sens within one. Sens were outshot 10-6 and trailed 2-1 after one.
The Senators slightly made up for the lack of shots on net getting 9 in the second frame, which is still not a lot but apparently enough. A play that was reviewed due to Daugavins kicking motion was ruled a good goal as it was touched by the stick of Jason Spezza before crossing the goal line, and just like that the game was tied. The play this period was again dominated by the leafs, who out-shot the Sens by an awful 21-9 margin, but with a solid frame from Anderson, sens headed to the dressing room tied at two.
As always, the Sens saved the best for last. A typical solid third period from the Ottawa Senators is just what the team needed to finish out this game. Less than two minutes into the period Kyle Turris fired a wicked shot that seemed to bounce off two posts before finally entering the net. Daniel Alfredsson and Jared Cowen picked up the assists on what turned out to be the game winning goal. The Sens only got 6 shots again this period, but they only allowed 8 shots against, a great improvement from the 21 shots against in the second. Their play was enough to hang on for a 3-2 victory.
*** SenShot’s Three Stars ***
1st Star * Kyle Turris: Turris was strong throughout the game and had many chances to score before getting his game winner on a beauty goal. He also picked up an assist on Alfie’s goal.
2nd Star ** Craig Anderson: A slightly weak goal early in the first was quickly shaken off and he went on to play great the rest of the game. He was especially strong in the middle frame where he faced 21 shots. Anderson finished the night with 37 saves.
3rd Star *** Daniel Alfredsson: Alfie scored the Senators first goal, an important one in the dying second of the opening frame to end the Sens scoreless drought and give them something positive to build off. Also picked up an assist on the game winner and finished with a team-high plus-2.
The Sens once again showed they can pull off a come from behind victory better than any other team in the league. At one point trailing 2-0, the Sens scored three unanswered goals to edge the Leafs 3-2. Through two periods the Sens certainly didn’t play well enough to put them in a winning position, but somehow managed to come out of the second period tied. Thanks to that they were able to close the game with their usual third period push and get an important two points. This was just stop one of a five game road trip leading up to the All-Star break however and Sens will need to play much better in their other games if they expect to get the wins. The next game is Thursday night in San Jose. Until then, Sens fans!
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