Zack Smith and Kyle Chipchura square off early in the second period

Game Recap – OTT @ PHX – Senators Take All-Star Break Early


 

Pregame Warmup

The Senators depart California on a  two game losing streak, and need a win in the final game before the All-Star break against the Phoenix Coyotes to avoid some nervous feelings around the city of Ottawa over the next week.  The focus will be onKyle Turris tonight as he makes his first appearance in his old building that wasn’t very good to him early on in his career.

First Period

An evenly played first 20 minutes that saw only one power play and it looked like it was going to end in a scoreless tie, but with just over a minute left, Gilbert Brule picked up some garbage at the side of the net and found some space over Anderson and sent the Coyotes to the room up 1-0.  The shots were even at 9 apiece.

Second Period

The second period got off to a raucous start, as Zack Smith and Kyle Chipchura squared off only 4 seconds in, in an attempt to gain some momentum for their respective clubs.  However any momentum that the Sens would have gained from the scrap was quickly doused by a Sergei Gonchar penalty.  After another period of inactivity, during which the Senators were able to test Mike Smith but came away empty, scoring started to come in bunches.  First, Shane Doan put the Coyotes up a pair when he tapped in Lauri Korpikoski’s rebound  home just over 16 minutes in.  Just when it looked like the Senators were out of another one, the Captain came to the rescue.  A nice feed from Foligno behind the net to Daniel Alfredsson resulted in the Senators first goal, just a minute and a half after Doan’s marker.  Alfie’s goal gave the Senators some hope as they headed into the third trailing by one, a position that has been relatively favorable to them so far this season.

 

Third Period

Quick strikes again early on in the third, as Radim Vrbata restored the two goal lead for Phoenix, tucking in yet another rebound after Anderson had made 2 saves.  Chris Neil answered right back, putting a wrister past Smith on a 3 on 2 rush, just 14 seconds after Vrbata’s goal.  Alfredsson appeared to have tied the game, but his goal was waved off apparently due to Nick Foligno interfering with Smith.  Not only was it a weak call that cost the Senators a goal, but also gave the Coyotes a power play with under 10 minutes left. Ottawa put the pressure on over the last 10 minutes, but they couldn’t get the equalizer.  Ottawa lost its third straight game on the road and now heads off for a much needed recharge with a week off for the All-Star break.

Post Game Show

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SenShot’s Three Stars

3.  Daniel Alfredsson (OTT) – 1G (should have been 2) and a game high 7 SOGRecorded the Gordie Howe hat-trick

2.  Keith Yandle (PHX) – 1 A, +2 and more than 23 minutes played

1.  Mike Smith (PHX)- Kept the Coyotes ahead while Ottawa was pressing in the second and again in the third, 25 saves for the win

GAME HIGHLIGHTS


WHAT I SAW

For the second night in a row, as much as I hate to blame officiating, Ottawa was on the receiving end of a game-changing call that raised more questions than answers.  Foligno was driving across the top of the crease, and it was Smith’s momentum following him across the crease that initiated the contact and put himself out of position.  Foligno did go throught he top of the crease, but in my opinion didn’t interfere with Smith, it was vice versa.  It cost the Senators the tying goal and two more minutes  in an effort to tie the game.

It was so frustrating, that I found myself becoming the type of fan I hate.  The one who thinks every time a Senator gets touched there should be a penalty, like the refs owe the sens something.  Its tough to swallow two nights in a row, especially when they have seen two of the the same referees twice in the last 3 games (Dan O’Rourke Sat & Mon; Tim Peel Mon & Tues).  What the Senators did to piss in their collective Corn Flakes, I don’t know.  All I know is what I see on the ice, and it seems to be a double standard.  Maybe a week off is good for everyone, officials included.

Ottawa had better come back from the break ready to compete, because the position they will be in will not be as comfortable as the position they were 5 days ago.

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