If you watched the first period of this afternoon’s game, chances are you were a little unhappy. 2 goals against, very little positive to talk about and some entirely sloppy play in everyone zone of the rink. Then something beautiful happened. A funny stat popped up ” Goal Differential Second Period: Ottawa +14, Buffalo -14. For the first time since Nate Silver decided he was going to tell us how the US Election would go, stat didn’t lie. The second period was Ottawa’s baby, 3 goals and a Kyle Turris that looked like a very bad man, in a good way.
Mike Weber looked like he was going to be the bane of the Ottawa Senators’ existence this afternoon. Starting the game off with a goal in the first period and a little masterpiece of playmaking that lead to a second goal and things started looking bleak. It was a clear shot to the net that he chose to hold his stick from booming away and making a pass cross ice. It eventually lead to a goal for Drew Stafford and a 2-0 lead early for the Buffalo Sabres.
An intermission later and all the sudden Ottawa decided they had enough of a challenge for themselves and started actually playing hockey. Enter Patrick “Heir To The Karlsson Throne” Wiercioch and his fourth goal of the season. Chris Phillip’s decided that if the defence was going to get all the goals for Ottawa he would showcase the new magic tricks he’d been working on. His shot from the point looked harmless enough, but it bobbled and bounced on Ryan Miller and into the net it went.
With the goal differential evaporated Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson turned it up to 11 and pumped up the zone pressure. A sneaky wrap around for Turris very late in the second lead to Ottawa entering the 3rd period with a 3-2 lead. Of course Drew Stafford had to slip one past Ben Bishop right when the Ottawa faithful were getting comfortable with their lead late in the game.
Extra time was needed to solve this one, and for what seems like an eternity, no shootout was necessary. An overtime powerplay meant it was all smiles for Kyle Turris as he potted his second of the game sealed the deal for Ottawa.
Our Line of Viking, the Northern Berserkers, Mika Zibanejad, Jakob Silfverberg, Peter Regin played extremely well tonight, despite not putting up any goals. While Regin is generally the first player many of the Sens Army yell at for under performing, he had a solid game on the ice tonight. His goalless slump is bound to end soon, and while I’m sure he’s not doing himself any favours in the coaches eyes, hard work will pay off.
Tonight felt like Chris Neil showing Matt Kassian the ropes. A little bit of “This is how we do it in the Capital. A hit here, a solid shot there. You’ll get it.” The toughness on the ice was amplified tonight and the “toughness” that has been questioned in the past seems to be silenced.
Top line production. I feel like there should be more I say here, but those three words say it all. The top line produced, and the team walked away with a win.
SENSHOT’S PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle. Turris. Each of those words deserves a sentence. That slump was a confidence crusher, but Turris looked remarkably looser out on the ice now that the monkey is off his back. He had a great game, some good shots on net, great defensive play and hey, did we mention he has 2 goals?
Ottawa heads back to the welcoming arms of ScotiaBank Place tomorrow, Sunday March 16, for a rare homegame. With the puck dropping at 5 PM, the Sens will faceoff against an equally pesky opponent, the Winnipeg Jets.