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Feb 3, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (41) and Ottawa Senators center Zack Smith (15) fight during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

James Neal Scores Winner In OT Against Senators

It was a battle of the goalies, as the Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators in a very tight game, 2-1 in overtime.

 

GAME RECAP

Stephane Da Costa continued to make it tougher to send him back down to Binghamton by starting the scoring in this one. Da Costa took the puck from behind the net along the boards towards the blue line. He then spun around, leaving two Penguins behind him, giving him a clear path to the net. Once he reached the side of the net, he roofed it short side on Marc-André Fleury, giving the Senators a 1-0 lead. Just two minutes later, Zack Smith took a boarding penalty on Evgeni Malkin. The hit was somewhat similar to the Kadri on Ceci hit from Saturday night, though Smith’s hit wasn’t as hard. That just helped show the NHL’s policy with star players: don’t touch them, or you’ll be in the box. Brian Gibbons’ point shot was deflected and got past Anderson to tie the game at one.

An exciting first period switched to a less exciting second. No goals were scored, though Anderson and Fleury continued playing well. Despite being outshot  29-16, the Senators were still in the game, thanks to Craig Anderson.

The third period was very similar to the second. No goals were scored, though five minor penalties were handed out. After sixty minutes, we were tied at one and headed to overtime.

A bad turnover by Jason Spezza and Colin Greening sent the puck to Malkin in the Senators zone. Malkin sent the puck to Robert Bortuzzo, whose shot was stopped by Anderson, but the rebound went straight to James Neal, who showed great patience, waiting to get to the right angle as Anderson was out of position after stopping the first shot.

 

THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS

  • Milan Michalek has been doing the same thing for the past few games: Getting a decent scoring chance for every three or four needless turnovers.
  • Eric Gryba has to play this way more often. He looked scary out there. And he even had a few good shots. That wasn’t even a typo, I really am talking about Gryba.
  • Who is the real Stephane Da Costa? Is he the guy that couldn’t register a point at the beginning of the season, or is he the guy that has three goals in the past four games?

 

SENSHOT PLAYER OF THE GAME

Craig Anderson stopped 46 of 48 shots, and it’s a good thing. He had some interesting comments about the Senators’ defence after the game on Saturday. If he had failed to perform tonight, it wouldn’t have made him look very good. It just seems like a waste for him to have such a great game when his teammates couldn’t score, but he allowed five goals when Chris Neil had three points on Saturday.

 

UP NEXT

The Senators will take on the Blues in St. Louis on Tuesday night.

Tags: Craig Anderson Ottawa Senators Stephane Da Costa

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