The Ottawa Senators battled hard at times during the game but being outplayed in the first period and Ben Bishop‘s worst outing since his first of the season was the downfall to the Sens. Ottawa dominated the 3rd period and probably would have managed at least a point in this one had it not been for a couple weak goals allowed by the starter. This marked the return of Milan Michalek to the Sens lineup and I thought he played quite well and didn’t really look out of sync. I also thought he skated very well considering he is playing on a knee that will apparently require surgery in the off-season.
Maple Leafs Tyler Bozak was coming into tonight’s game into a little bit of a slump. As history has shown us, the Ottawa Senators are the perfect remedy for the Leafs center. He opened the scoring after a nice outlet pass from the Leafs defensive zone to James van Riemsdyk who he passed to Phil Kessel deep in the Sens zone. Kessel made the Sens pay by then passing it to Bozak to make it 1-0 Leafs. To continue the Leafs goal scoring it was Jay McClement who got a pass from Nikolai Kulemin that he teed up for McClement to make the lead 2-0. This goal was scored less than a minute after the first.
When the second period opened up the Sens seemed to play better but it was the Leafs who added to their lead as JVR sat in the slot and received a nice pass from Phil Kessel, Bozak also added an assist. Then over a minute after the Leafs lead grew to 3, the ref raised his arm as the Sens got out the extra attacker. Ottawa manged to get the puck deep in the Leafs zone, in which Mika Zibanejad capitalized on the delayed penalty and brought the Sens within 2. Mika’s goal was assisted by Erik Condra and Sergei Gonchar.
Just like the 2nd period Ottawa came out to play. It was fianlly Zack Smith‘s time to celebrate a goal, his first of the season, as the Sens were within striking distance to tie the game. But the Leafs weren’t done scoring yet as Bishop allowed two more goals. One on a Leafs power play from Kessel and the other was a bad goal from Nazem Kadri. the Sens weren’t ready to quit, as the captain Daniel Alfredsson scored on a pass from Smith, to make the score 5-3. With Big Ben pulled the Sens managed to pull within 1 as Colin Greening goal but that’s how the game ended as the Senators were on the losing end of this one. Final was 5-4.
- Considering the injury he sustained during a game warm-up, Milan Michalek looked quite good. Almost looked like he didn’t miss a second. He was skating real well and created some chances and also managed to put his name on the score sheet. Good first game back!
- Tonight we seen Bishop have one of his worst starts but also seen Smith play what probably was his best game all season. Guess we’ll take the bad with the good, as long as Bishop returns to form.
- It wasn’t only Smith buzzing around tonight, Phil Kessel continued to terrorize the Senators as he was all over the ice tonight controlling the pace of the game.
- Let’s hope Dave Dziurzynski will recover well from that Mike Tyson like knockout from Frazer McLaren. It was reported not long after that he sustained a concussion, which I think everyone seen coming.
- Greening continues to play well since his benching scoring once again tonight.
SENSHOT’S PLAYER OF THE GAME
I have decided to chose a Sen and Leaf for this. Lets go with Zack Smith and Phil Kessel. Both of these players were the best players for their respective clubs, both created chances and scored in tonight’s tilt.
The Sens Will now travel to New York City to take on their playoff opponents from last year, the New York Rangers. The Sens always seem to play well under the bright lights of MSG and will hope to keep this trend up on Friday night at 7 PM. Game will be broadcast on TSN.