Mar 8, 2012; Ottawa, ON, CAN; New York Rangers left wing Brandon Proulx (8) fights with Ottawa Senators centre Zack Smith (15) in the third period at Scotiabank Place. The Senators defeated the Rangers 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-US PRESSWIRE

Game Recap: NYR @ OTT - Secondary Scoring Returns

Pre-Game Warmup

With playoffs an almost guarantee, the Senators now look at improving their position and possibly securing home ice for the first round. They’ll be in tough to do so tonight, facing off against the top team in the East, the New York RangersBen Bishop would get his 2nd consecutive start for the Sens while backup Martin Biron would get the nod for the Rangers. With a win tonight the Sens would win the season series against the Rangers 3-1, which could definitely be a confidence booster for the team.

The First Period

As per usual, the Sens came out of the gate a bit slow and it cost them. Just 4:36 in, Ryan Callahan would muscle his way past Jim O’Brien to tip in a cross crease pass from Brad Richards.  Not a good start for Ottawa or Ben Bishop who’s competing for the backup position next season with Robin Lehner. However, the Sens would be quick respond. Just over a minute later Zack Smith would streak in alone from the side and slap one right past Biron to end his drought and tie the game up at 1. With just over a minute remaining in the period, Ottawa would take the lead after a rebound goal by Nick Foligno. 2-1 Ottawa after the first, despite being outshot 8-4.

The Second Period

The second period would be a rather tame one with the Rangers slightly outplaying the Sens. Neither team had any serious scoring chances though, and no goals would be scored. The score after 40 would still be 2-1 Ottawa. Nevertheless, the Sens needed to come back better in the 3rd after only mustering up 7 shots to the Rangers 17.

The Third Period

Ottawa would come out with much more energy to start the 3rd (as per usual). Just over 5 minutes in, Kyle Turris would finally get a legit goal, putting in a rebound off a Daniel Alfredsson shot. The Sens would continue to control play for the remainder of the period. With Biron pulled, Jason Spezza would get the empty netter to cap off an Ottawa 4-1 win.

+ Pluses +

+ Zack Smith – A solid game after being a healthy scratch in Florida. Got the all important first goal as well as a nice fight at the end of the game against Brandon Prust.

+ Rob Klinkhammer – Another good game for Klinkhammer. So far doesn’t look out of place on the 2nd line. It will be interesting to see if the Sens will keep him for the 5 games that will give their 2013 7th round pick to Chicago.

- Minuses -

– Full 60 Minutes – The Senators still need to work on getting a full 60 minute effort in. The 2nd period was a lacklustre effort, only generating 3 shots total.

Game Highlights

Will Post When Available

*** Senshot’s Three Stars ***

* Ben Bishop: 25/26 – Amazing game by Bishop tonight, looked extremely confident and steady compared to the game in Tampa. Kept the team’s lead alive in the 2nd period. He’s definitely going to make it tough for Lehner to get the backup position next season.

** Kyle Turris: 1G 0A – Finally notched a legitimate goal on a goalie. Had many more chances to get on the scoreboard, but just couldn’t convert. Look for him to start heating up soon though.

*** Jared Cowen: 0G 0A – Didn’t notch any points tonight, but was a force defensively. Used his body often tonight, which will be essential if the Sens make playoffs.

Final Thoughts

Sens fans should thank John Tortorella for starting Martin Biron. If Lundqvist was in nets we would have had a totally different game. Was nice to finally see some much needed secondary scoring when Karlsson/Spezza aren’t getting points on the board. Was really impressed by Bishop tonight who looked way better than he did in the game against Tampa. Interesting new promotion the Sens had at the game tonight. If Ottawa scored in the final minute everybody would get a free Wendy’s Baconator which sounds a lot more appealing to me than a slice of Pizza Pizza. Unfortunately Spezza got the empty netter 27 seconds too early. With the win, the Sens beat the Rangers in the four game regular season series. Ottawa continues their homestand on Saturday against the Sabres. Until next time, Go Sens Go!


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