The Senators entered the final game of their current five game homestand, this time taking on the Edmonton Oilers. Ottawa won the only previous meeting of the season 5-2 in Edmonton. Finally breaking their seven game losing streak on Thursday against Nashville, Ottawa looked to get a string of wins started.
The Senators came out fast and strong. They seemed motivated after an emotional opening ceremony celebrating Chris Phillips and his 1000th game which took place Thursday. The pressure got to the Oilers and Taylor Hall took the first penalty of the game. They wouldn’t get a powerplay goal but they would capitalize during a 5 on 4 play, scoring right as Taylor Hall stepped out of the box. It was a shot from the point by Daniel Alfredsson with assists from Spezza and Karlsson. A recently reunited power play unit that has been working wonders for the Sens. Khabibulin did all he could to give his team a chance to get back in it making 16 saves, including many big ones, but Edmonton couldn’t get one past Craig Anderson keeping it 1-0 after one.
Sens continued the strong play and got a great chance early. A good read by Butler had him pick off a pass in front of the Ottawa net and send it all the way to the other blue line where Jason Spezza waited undefended but he was once again stopped by Khabibulin. Sens would then have to go to the penalty kill for the infamous too many men on the ice call, all too familiar to Ottawa. It didn’t cost them right away but it did shift the momentum. Edmonton had seven shots on the power play and took control of the game from that point on. With just over 5 minutes left in the period, Magnus Paajarvi scored his first of the season to tie the game. Ottawa countered quickly though as a nice passing play between Butler, Spezza and Michalek gave Milo his first goal in thirteen games and re-gave Sens their lead. But again the score did not hold. A questionable non-call for interference on Cowen left Ben Eager wide opening skating down the left side as he fired one past Anderson. The period would end 2-2.
Edmonton struck quickly with Horcoff getting one by Anderson less than a minute into the period. Sens are no strangers to third period goals or comebacks however and they didn’t quit. Who else but the league leader in defensive scoring to tie the game for his team! Karlsson’s first shot caused some havoc in front but was cleared away from the net by an Oiler defenseman. He was persistent though and fired it straight back on net, and this time it would make it all the way through, tying the game at 3. Sens managed 17 shots in each of the first two period but could only come up with 8 in the final period. Regulation ended 3-3 and the game was headed to overtime.
Seventeen seconds — that’s how long overtime lasted. Taylor Hall took the puck into the zone and dropped it off to Horcoff as he circled behind the net, coming out the other side just in time to get the rebound of Horcoff’s shot. He knocked the bouncing puck past Craig Anderson to give Edmonton the 4-3 overtime victory.
*** SenShot’s Three Stars ***
1st Star – Nikolai Khabibulin: The Sens could’ve been up 2 or 3 nothing after the first but they were limited to 1 because of the excellent play of Khabibulin. He constantly gave them saves to keep them in it and gave them a chance to win the game.
2nd Star – Erik Karlsson: Another two point night for the youngster brought Karlsson to the 50 point mark. He was clearly important offensively and he also finished plus-1 in the loss.
3rd Star – Shawn Horcoff: The Oilers captain picked up three points including an assist on the overtime wniner to help lead his team to the win.
The Senators wore down as the game went on and it showed. They let two points slip away in a game the team should have won. The team’s next game comes Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning were a win is crucial.
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