If the panic button wasn’t pressed after the loss to Florida, it probably is now for most members of Sens Army. Ben Bishop stopped 31 shots against the players he was facing in practice less than a week ago, and the Lightning downed the Senators 3-2. Frustrations abound as the team, the officials, and the effort all came into question. The loss extends the losing streak to a season high 5 games, and not at a very good time. The teams trailing them are closing in and it seems very claustrophobic in the 6 seed all of a sudden.
The Senators will have to put the distraction of the officials and the losing streak behind and start anew on Thursday.
It wasn’t a very good start as the first shift saw a Steven Stamkos step into a slap shot from the faceoff dot, but Craig Anderson was cutting down the angle and swallowed it up. On the second shift Ottawa couldn’t get out of their own end and ended up taking a hooking penalty. However, crisis averted and after killing off Zack Smith‘s penalty they drew one of their own. It was a colossal failure and the game stayed scoreless. It was a cautious period but finally Daniel Alfredsson knocked a puck out of the air in the crease, that after review (for a potential high-stick) the goal stood and the Senators had the lead. The next time the line was out, Alfie sent Kyle Turris in on a partial break and he rang one off the post, and then had another that Bishop got a piece of.
Tampa got the equalizer just over 2 minutes into the second after a lost defensive zone faceoff, Pierre-Cedric Labrie picked up a loose puck and put it past a screened Anderson for his first career goal. Then the wheels fell off, thanks to officiating. With Turris off for a minor, Peter Regin won the ensuing faceoff, but the referee in the corner somehow determined that Peter Regin had won the draw with his hand (which he did not), giving the Lightning almost a full two minutes with a 2 man advantage. Vincent Lecavalier scored early on in the 5 on 3 to put the Lighting up by a goal, chipping a rebound over a sprawling Anderson. It continued to be constant parade to the penalty box, with a total of 8 minors called in the period, 5 against Ottawa. There was no more damage and Ottawa went to the intermission just down by one.
Ottawa got on even terms early in the third, after a keystone cops type play ended up with the puck on Guillaume Latendresse‘s stick after bouncing off Bishop’s back. Latendresse had an open net from three feet away and made no mistake. The Lightning took the lead with just over 5 minutes left as Stamkos took Vincent Lecavalier‘s cross-crease pass on the power play and buried it for the 3-2 goal. Ottawa could not muster much offense in the final 5 minutes and didn’t come close to tying the game.
- This one will not be shown as an example of what to do at officiating school. Phantom calls, missed calls and simply blown calls abound on both sides. The biggest one being Regin’s penalty for a faceoff violation that didn’t happen.
- It was weird that the NHL’s tallest goalie would give up two goals that resulted from high pucks, and another that got past him but was waived off ofter a Turris high stick.
SENSHOT’S PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Turris had his best game of the losing streak, recording two assists and deserved to have a goal or two. He had numerous scoring chances, but came up empty.
Ottawa continues the roadie with a visit to Philly on Thursday night to take on the Flyers.