Whatever The Senators did differently to prep for this one, it worked. From the opening puck drop and on Ottawa was the far better, more prepared team. Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan lead The Senators to a 6-1 victory against their new Atlantic division opponents, The Detroit Red Wings.
1st: The Senators got off to a quick start in “Motor City” as Mika Zibanejad made an immediate impact feeding Eric Gryba who sent a quick wrister past Jimmy Howard.Detroit tried to respond a short time after on a 2-1 play but came up bankrupt. Kyle Turris drew the games first penalty and Jason Spezza capitalized as he was given enough time to calculate Detroit out of bankruptcy then ripped his 6th of the year past Howard. Kyle Turris drew his second penalty of the game as he side stepped Kyle Quincey who consequently tripped Turris. Off the ensuing faceoff Turris won the draw clean and Bobby Ryan scored on a beautiful wrister that went through bodies and bar down. Howard was chased from the net at this point. Detroit answered on a power play of their own. Todd Bertuzzi finished a wrap around attempt when Gryba failed to clear the zone. The first frame ended with Ottawa on top 3-1.
2nd: Jason Spezza scored his 8th of the season and second of the game. Spezza used the lively boards at The Jo to his advantage and beat Jonas Gustavsson low on his own wide rebound. The second ended with Ottawa up by a 3 spot, 4-1.
3rd: Jared Cowen made a slight studder step move at the point eluding Jonas Gustavsson who was beat on the long wrister. Bobby Ryan cashed in on his second of the game as Clarke MacArthur‘s rebound left Ryan with a 2 foot tap in. MacArthur was hurt on the play as he was shoved hard into the boards after snapping the shot. MacArthur did return a short time later.
Notes & observations:
- Ottawa scored first and drew the first penalty of the game, something that they haven’t accomplished thus far this season
- Mika Zibanejad looked good early, his compete level was not a question in this one. He didn’t get a ton of ice time but used his skills and showed more than enough to remain an Ottawa Senator.
- Paul Maclean shuffled the top line early and elected to take Colin Greening from the 3rd line and swap him with Cory Conacher on the top unit. Conacher still out performed Greening despite the demotion.
- Joe Corvo quietly tallied another point giving him 4 in 4 games played.
- The entire Senators team looked great in this one but Turris still looked like their most impressive player in my eyes. Turris drew 2 penalties in the first, scored 2 assist and on top of that looked magical with and without the puck.
- Daniel Alfredsson was held pointless by his former team but performed well for Detroit. Alfie may have been the only Red Wing somewhat ready for this one.
- Craig Anderson didn’t have to be anything more than steady against Detroit but when shots came through he managed to turn them aside or swallow them up while being very square. He looked calm and confident.
- It’s hard to find any criticism in this one, virtually every Senator played their A game tonight and the results were evident.
Senshot player of the game:
This choice was tough for positive reasons as every player looked great in this one for The Senators. Despite his shortcomings in the face-off circle Kyle Turris continued his steady play this game. He finished with 2 assists but handled the puck incredibly well all night. It seemed that when Turris was on the ice the puck was hemmed in The Detroit zone and Turris was all around the net.
Halloween falls on the right month for Ottawa because they were tricked and treated to an ugly October schedule and the exit door only seems more frightening. On Friday Bobby Ryan’s ex squad, The Anaheim Ducks will visit the CTC to quickly close out their season series. If that’s not mighty enough, The Senators will then play host to The San Jose Sharks. Finally, The Stanley Cup Champion, Chicago Black Hawks will put a knife through this horrific start on Tuesday as The Senators hope the “windy city” blows them to a much more favourable November schedule. Their is potentially a positive to these last three October games. The hardest part of the schedule is over and if The Senators can bottle the effort they showed in tonights game than this team could still be the powerful team that we all dreamt up before the season began.