Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had 2 goals and an assist to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators in a Saturday matinee at Canadian Tire Centre. Robin Lehner allowed 2 goals as the Senators held the Oilers to just 21 shots, far below the 42 shot average they had allowed heading into the game. Edmonton got on the board early and never looked back as the Senators had difficulty putting anything that resembled and organized offensive attack together all afternoon, failing to capitalize on a shaky first period effort from Devan Dubnyk. The much maligned Edmonton goalie didn’t look good in the first 20 minutes, but as the Senators tend to do, they made a bad goalie look good.
With Marc Methot pinching in, Jason Spezza came off the bench on a line change to cover for him, and Jordan Eberle made him look like a forward playing defense. Eberle and Nail Yakupov came down 2 on 1 on Patrick Wiercioch, kept it himself and beat Lenher short side to give the Oilers the lead. Bobby Ryan was stoned point blank on a shot, hitting Dubnyk in the shoulder after some terrible defensive zone play from the Oilers. While the Oilers got away with some shoddy defensive play, Ottawa wasn’t so lucky. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins pounced on a rebound and slapped it past Lehner as Methot was inexplicably turning the other way, doubling the Oilers’ lead.
Ottawa got into penalty trouble in the second, but they ended up getting the better chances from penalties to Spezza and Erik Karlsson. It was a period of frustration as Ottawa couldn’t get any traction on a couple of power plays of their own, and in the dying minutes Lehner made a great save on Ryan Smyth on the doorstep to keep the faint hopes alive for a third period comeback.
An early third period 5 on 3 for a full 2 minutes after a blatant dive from Jeff Petry to draw the second penalty was killed successfully, amd shortly after the kill, they got a power play of their own, and a chance to capitalize on the momentum. That plan failed as the power play was disjointed and lacked intensity. The couldn’t capitalize on that man advantage. Chris Neil gave the Senators hope when he “cross-checked” the puck past Dubnyk with just under 6 minutes to play. Ottawa seemed content to press for the tying goal in the last minute, but a missed shot from Patrick Wiercioch eluded Erik Karlsson on the far point and Nugent-Hopkins deposited it into the empty net for the icing on the cake. The final score Edmonton 3, Ottawa 1.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Spezza needs to shoot the puck. Killing a penalty in the first period he broke in 1 on 1 and faked the shot, taking it behind the net and threw it back into the slot. Eric Gryba got a shot, but much lower percentage than what Spezza would have had.
- The best segments for the Senators were when they were on the penalty kill. They could get nothing going 5 on 5 or on the power play, despite outshooting the Oilers 36-21 and Dubnyk being named the 2nd star, I really didn’t see him being anything beyond normal.
- The whole defense corps seemed to struggle from Karlsson to Gryba.
- I am glad the Senators don’t see David Perron very often because he is in the Western Conference. He is the type of player who can drive the other team nuts, as he did to the Senators today
The Senators face off against an old friend when they head to Detroit to face Daniel Alfredsson for the first time ever on Wednesday night.