It was a good game for the Ottawa Senators foot soldiers, as they got production from a number of unexpected (or at least unusual) sources as they came from behind to defeat the Florida Panthers 4-2. While the lineup blender operated by Paul MacLean continued to churn up new combinations, Ottawa did enough to win against a not-very-good Panthers club.
Joe Corvo, Erik Condra and Colin Greening all scored just their second goals of the season to erase an early 2-0 deficit and improve their record against their own division to 7-1-1. Bobby Ryan added the insurance marker late to seal the deal.
The Ottawa Senators continue to be their own worst enemy, and it happened early on in this one, with recent call-up Mike Hoffman negating a power play by taking a high-sticking penalty 200 feet from his own net. It was pretty incidental, but just another case of the team getting in it’s own way. That was compounded when Jason Spezza crashed into goalie Tim Thomas while they were playing 4 on 4, giving the Panthers a 2 man advantage. It took Florida 21 seconds to capitalize on the two man advantage, with Jonathan Huberdeau putting a wrist shot past Craig Anderson. Then, Ottawa took their customary 2 goal deficit when a second before Spezza’s penalty expired, Brian Campbell beat Anderson. Joe Corvo got the Sens back within one, putting a seeing-eye shot through traffic past Thomas. With Florida putting pressure on following Corvo’s, Anderson made a huge save on a cross-ice pass from Huberdeau to Nick Bjugstad, to keep the Sens within one. Erik Condra, skating alongside Spezza and Clarke MacArthur, evened the score just before the final minute of the period, finishing off a nice down low play that went MacArthur-Spezza-Condra.
Ottawa opened the second with a full 2 minute man advantage, courtesy perennial Lady Byng candidate Brian Campbell losing his cool against Cory Conacher after the final whistle in the first period. The Senators couldn’t capitalize, nor could they count on their second power play of the period near the midway point. The second wasn’t nearly as wide open as the first, but just before the period closed out, the Senators finally got a bounce. Joe Corvo’s shot from the point went off Colin Greening’s knee and into the air, dropping in behind Thomas and the goal line inside the net to give the Senators their first lead of the game, with under a minute left in the period.
After a couple of wasted power plays in the third, Florida looked like it was making inroads to tying up the game, but then out of nowhere Jared Cowen stepped in with authority and fed a pass to Ryan through a bunch of legs, and Ryan shoved it past Thomas to give the Senators a 2 goal lead.
SENSHOT PLAYER OF THE GAME
Clarke MacArthur showed why he has been the catalyst for this club despite not being its top scorer. His presence was felt on Spezza’s wing, and Turris and Ryan were almost invisible without him, until the Ryan goal. He had assists on the first two Ottawa goals.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- It was 2 points, but by no means does this win mean the team has turned around. It wasn’t a great performance, and they still have a lot of work to do.
- Joe Corvo provided the type of secondary offensive threat from the blue line that the Senators would like from Patrick Wiercioch.
- Hopefully Cowen’s nice setup will give him a boost of confidence and allow him to get out of the doldrums that have plagued him so far.
- Anderson was good after allowing the early power play goals, and kept his focus despite being run a couple of times.
Ottawa travels cross-state to Tampa to face old teammate Ben Bishop and the suddenly cooling off Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.