The Ottawa Senators hope to end their losing streak at six games hosting the St. Louis Blues. On paper this looked to be a tough matchup for the Sens who are having trouble finding the net (only one goal in the last two games). Ottawa would have to get past Ken Hitchock’s very reliable defensive system that has his team sporting one of the lowest goals against in the league. Coming off an embarassing 5-0 loss to the Leafs at home, the Sens were looking to give the home crowd a better show tonight. Craig Anderson would start for the Senators and none other than ex-Senators Brian Elliott for the Blues.
The First Period
This would be another one of those “Anderson Gets Pulled Early” nights. 1:37 into the start of the game Chris Porter would tip in a Roman Polak shot past Anderson to give the Blues the early lead. Just over two minutes later at 3:49, David Perron would wrist one past Anderson to give the Blues the cushion less than four minutes into the game. That would spell the end of the night for Anderson, and Alex Auld would take over for the remainder of the game. The Sens outplayed the Blues in the opening period, but would find themselves down 2-0 after one.
The Second Period
Ottawa got some life less than a minute into the period. Their powerplay would finally strike with none other than Daniel Alfredsson tipping a Sergei Gonchar shot past Elliott to bring the game within one. The Blues would be quick to strike back though. At 6:35, Perron would notch his 2nd of the game on a nice backhand shot while powering his way through Colin Greening. Like the first, I felt Ottawa outplayed St. Louis in the period, but still found themselves in a hole, down 3-1.
The Third Period
There would be no comeback for the Senators tonight. The Blues played a perfect shut down period that surely pleased Hitchock. They limited Ottawa to 8 shots, none of which got by Elliott. Final score, 3-1 Blues.
+ Pluses +
+ Erik Karlsson: Karlsson seems to be the go to defenceman for Paul MacLean now. He played an incredible 32:44 tonight and was instrumental in setting up many of Ottawa’s chances tonight.
- Minuses -
– Milan Michalek: Michalek has now gone 11 straight games without a goal. That has to change soon if Ottawa is to have any chance at making that playoff push.
– Craig Anderson: 2 goals on 4 shots early in the game put the Sens in a big hole against a very defensive St. Louis Blues team.
*** Senshot’s Three Stars ***
* David Perron: 2G 0A – What a comeback story for this guy. Came back from a devastating concussion and has now become one of the Blues’ primary scorers. Nabbed two goals tonight and you couldn’t even tell that he had missed the beginning of this season with a concussion.
** Brian Elliott: 28/29 – Former Senator Elliott probably makes the Sens wish they had re-signed him as a backup. You can tell by watching that he’s playing with much more confidence. Made all the saves he had too and didn’t give the Sens any cheesy goals.
*** Daniel Alfredsson: 1G 0A – The captain of this team continues to thrive this season. He got his 18th goal of the season, meaning he should easily have another 20 goal season under his belt. There’s no way he can retire now!
This is now the 7th straight loss for the Sens. They need to get out of this funk soon or the playoffs will be nothing more than a pipe dream. Ottawa did play a very solid game tonight and easily outplayed St. Louis. However, it comes down to finish, which the Sens seem to severly lack right now. At the start of the season everybody was scoring, now nobody can. The missed shots tonight didn’t help either as I saw numerous scoring chances dissapear with the shots that went wide. If the Senators keep up their solid play though, they’ll eventually start getting some lucky bounces. Jared Cowen’s amazing rookie season seems to have hit a brick wall as he’s now being caught making numerous rookie mistakes. He only played 14:21 tonight, maybe a sign that he’s beginning to show fatigue from the heavy workload during the first half of the season. The Sens host the Nashville Predators at home on Thursday where they will look to finally end this losing streak. Until next time, Go Sens Go!
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