In what has been a series of disappointments so far this season, the Senators put forth one of their better all-around efforts of the season against the St. Louis Blues. Young Cody Ceci played the hero role as his first career NHL goal past Brian Elliott with a minute left in overtime gave the Senators a much needed two points. The fact they did it against a cream of the crop team should also give them some momentum heading into a pair of games against a couple of clubs that aren’t exactly among the elite of the NHL.
Ottawa was in the box right away, with Zack Smith taking a roughing call. They killed that off and then went on the offensive, getting a couple of scoring chances before Jean-Gabriel Pageau took a pass in the slot from Bobby Ryan behind the net and put a quick riser top shelf past Brian Elliott. Smith then took another minor in retaliation for an elbow to the face from David Backes, putting the Senators back on their heels again, and it wasn’t pretty but they got another successful kill.
Just over 4 minutes left in the second, Lehner made a huge 2 pad slide across the crease to rob Alex Steen after he took a pass from TJ Oshie on a 2 on 1 to keep the Senators ahead by one. That lead didn’t hold, as less than a minute later Chris Stewart was sent on a breakaway and beat Lehner 5-hole to tie the game with just over 3 minutes left. The Senators were under siege for the rest of the frame, which culminated with Stewart beating Lehner again with just 11 seconds left to give the Blues their first lead of the game.
Chris Neil tried to get his team some spark with a scrap against Barret Jackman just over a minute into the third period. Whether it worked or not is debatable, but less than 5 minutes later Kyle Turris carried the puck across the Blues’ blue line, held up and found Bobby Ryan going in full flight towards the net, made a nice pass and Ryan finished with a nice deke to tie the score. That is where the score stood after the dust had settled on regulation time, and the Senators earned at least a point against on t of the best teams in the league and went to work at getting the second one.
Ottawa earned a power play after Derek Roy got his stick into Jason Spezza‘s arms. Ottawa had plenty of shot attempts, but most of them were blocked by active Blues’ penalty killers before reaching the netminder. In the final minute of the game, Ceci made a risky decision to pinch in and hold the puck in the offensive end despite the fact that he was the only player in a position to defend. As it turns out, the poised play paid off as he made a move to elude the onrushing defender, and his quick wrist shot made it through traffic for the OT winner and his first NHL goal.
SENSHOT’S PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ceci, for getting his first NHL goal, and after playing over 20 minutes again, making for very difficult decisions for the Senators management in the next couple of days.
The Senators travel to New Jersey to face the Devils on Wednesday night.