The Ottawa Senators have won three straight for the first time this season. With this win, they are 6-0-2 against eastern conference teams. Much better than their 1-6-2 against teams in the west.
We didn’t have to wait long for the first goal of the game. Kyle Turris scored from a tough angle less than 2 minutes in to give the Senators the early 1-0 lead. Bobby Ryan got the assist on the goal, but the Panthers’ (and ex Senator) Matt Gilroy helped out with his turnover to Ryan to start the play. Right after the following faceoff, Matt Kassian and Krys Barch drop the gloves. Not too many punches connected, despite how long the refs let them go. Just seconds later, the Panthers lose the puck in their end again. This time it was Erik Gudbranson that gave the puck away to Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad took the puck behind the net, and tried sending it in front for Cory Conacher, but Gudbranson got in the way, and the puck bounced off of him and in. 2:04 into the first period, and it was already 2-0 for the Senators. Exactly two minutes later, yet another turnover caused a goal, this time for the Panthers. Erik Karlsson fanned on the puck trying to make a pass out of the defensive zone, which was picked up by the Panthers’ Tomas Kopecky. The puck was taken to the corner by Nick Bjugstad as the rest of the players made their way towards the Senators’ zone. Bjugstad managed to get through the many bodies in front of the Senators goalie Robin Lehner and scored in tight. The rest of the period was similar, though without any goals. Constant turnovers and chances for both teams. A fan’s favourite type of hockey, a coach’s worst nightmare.
Another strong start to the period by the Senators (which they haven’t had a whole lot of this season). Mark Borowiecki ran into Aleksander Barkov in the neutral zone, which ended with Barkov on his back, dazed before getting up. This hit wasn’t okay with Scottie Upshall, who took a run at Borowiecki. Borowicki turned around and Upshall also ended up looking at the rafters. Upshall however, stood up and decided to drop the gloves. He and Borowiecki both got 5 minutes for fighting, with Upshall getting an extra 2 for roughing. On the ensuing penalty kill, Gudbranson cleared the puck over the boards to give the Senators a two man advantage. Some great passing set up a goal for Clarke MacArthur, beside the Florida net. The Senators still had 1:05 on the powerplay, but weren’t able to score another.
The third fight of the game was only 12 seconds into the third period. Zack Smith took on the much bigger Erik Gudbranson. Gudbranson got a few more punches in, but Smith definitely held his own against the bigger man. Halfway through the period, Marcel Goc made it a one goal game with a rocket of a shot that got by a screened Robin Lehner. The Senators survived two penalties late in the period to keep their one goal lead, and win 3-2.
SENSHOT’S PLAYER OF THE GAME
Clarke MacArthur had a fantastic game. He only had one point, but seemed to create chances every time he was on the ice. He played strong defensively as well as playing a very physical game.
THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- Clarke MacArthur has been playing some of the best hockey in his career this season, especially his last few games.
- Mark Borowiecki has been great since he was called up. He’s becoming a fan favourite, possibly because he grew up in Kanata, though his play isn’t hurting his image.
- Chris Neil looked really weird with a visor. It doesn’t really matter, but I’m just saying.
- Robin Lehner with yet another solid game. After four winless starts, he has three straight wins.
The Senators host the struggling Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night, as they try to extend their winning streak to four.