Feb 02, 2012; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) makes a save in the third period against the New York Islanders at Scotiabank Place. The Islanders defeated the Senators 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-US PRESSWIRE

Game Recap: NYI @ OTT - Islanders Prevail in OT

Pre-Game Warmup

The Ottawa Senators were back home tonight for the first of a five game homestand, facing the persistent NY Islanders. They looked to get back on track after their 4th straight loss against the Bruins in which they gave up a 3-1 lead. Craig Anderson would start for the Senators and Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders.

The First Period

The first period would end scoreless at 0-0. However, the majority of play was dominated by the Islanders with the Sens unable to muster much of anything. The shot count was 14-8 in favor of New York and it was only thanks to Anderson that the Sens remained in it.

The Second Period

The second period was a total reversal of the first. After a terrific shift by the Nick Foligno, Kyle Turris, and Daniel Alfredsson line in the offensive zone, the Sens appeared to wake up. They dominated the period having several great scoring opportunities and were finally able to draw their first power play in what seemed like forever. Nabokov stood tall for most of the period as the Sens were unable to beat him. That is until Zack Smith streaked in with under 13 seconds left in the period and wristed one past Nabokov’s glove (a save he should have made). 1-0 Ottawa after two.

The Third Period

This period would be like a repeat of the first with the Islanders controlling the play the entire 20 minutes it seemed. It would pay off as Jared Cowen would make the rookie mistake of chasing his parter’s man (in this case Sergei Gonchar). This left Cowen’s side wide open for Matt Martin to receive a pass and have all the time in the world to snipe one past Anderson. The Sens would manage to survive the period and force OT to earn at least one point for the night.

OT

Overtime would continue much like the third with the Islanders all over the Sens. Something had to give and it did with Mark Eaton getting his first goal of the year past a sprawling Anderson. Final score 2-1 Islanders.

+ Pluses +

+ Foligno/Turris/Alfredsson: This was the only line that consistently was a threat for the Senators. Although pencilled in as the 2nd line, they are definitely the Sens top line at the moment. Turris and Alfredsson keep on appearing to feed off of each other and it’s nice to finally have a real 2nd line center.

- Minuses -

– Michalek/Spezza: These two all-stars have been cold for the past few weeks. It almost appears as if either or both of them are playing hurt. Neither of them appeared that effective offensively and have been disastrous in the defensive zone. If the Senators are to make the playoffs these guys need to get back on track soon.

– Jared Cowen: Was on for both Islanders’ goals and was fully responsible for their first.

Game Highlights

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,762&navid=sb:highlights

*** Senshot’s Three Stars ***

* Mark Eaton: 1G 0A – His first goal of the year turns out to be an OT winner. Seems like the Sens are the team to play to end any sort of draught doesn’t it.

** Evgeni Nabokov: 23/24 – Although he allowed a rather weak goal he was still solid throughout the night. He was especially strong in the 2nd when the Sens were coming on strong.

*** Craig Anderson: 30/32 – Gave the Sens a chance to win this game and that’s all you can ask from your goaltender. The team needs to provide him some offensive support.

Final Thoughts

This is now the 5th straight loss for the Sens. They should count themselves lucky they managed to pull out a point. Spezza and Michalek need to either sit out if they’re hurt or pull it together quickly. Alfredsson and Turris can’t handle the offensive load themselves. Speaking of which, I’d hate to see how this team would be performing had we not picked up Turris, he looks like the real deal the more I watch him. Jared Cowen’s amazing rookie season is starting to look less stellar as he is finally starting to make those dreaded rookie mistakes. Ottawa won’t have much time to think about the loss as they’re back on the ice today for a very important match in the standings against the rival Toronto Maple Leafs. Until next time, Go Sens Go!

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Tags: Craig Anderson Evgeni Nabokov Mark Eaton New York Islanders Ottawa Senators

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