The Ottawa Senators had to battle guys in blue and, as if that wasn’t enough, guys in black and white stripes, for most of the night but in the end a 3 goal outburst in 3:45 seconds got them back in the game and then took the shootout for a 4-3 win.
GAME RECAP For a team that played a tough game the night before, the Senators came out pretty strong in the first half of the first. The it sort of took a turn as the physical Blues took every opportunity to rough up the Senators whether they were near the puck or not. Brenden Morrow broke the ice, breaking through and tipping home a Patrik Berglund shot/pass past Robin Lehner. The Senators outshot the Blues 13-9 but trailed 1-0 after 1. Ottawa got into penalty trouble early in the second as the were visibly frustrated with the officiating that seemed to allow the Blues some leeway while cracking down on Ottawa. A lengthy 5 on 3 followed right away by another man disadvantage were killed off admirably by the Senators penalty killers, and most notably by Robin Lehner. They seemed to gain momentum by the kills, and shortly after that got even after a temendous backhand, behind the back pass across the ice from Jason Spezza to Erik Karlsson was one-timed home by the blueliner to make it 1-1. That momenum didn’t last long, however, as T.J. Oshie restored the lead just 19 seconds later, picking up a rebound and firing on an open net. Nobody knew where the puck went, until Oshie checked the back of the net, and pointed out that it was lodged in the netting under the water bottle. Then, the nail in the coffin appeared to come with just 5 seconds left in the period with David Bakes taking a nice feed from a very patient Jaden Schwartz, giving Backes an open net to make the lead 3-1. A tired Senators team facing an uphill battle against one of the better all around teams in the league, it didn’t look so good heading into the third. Just under 6 minutes into the third, Milan Michalek drove down the slot and took a nice feed from Spezza behind the net to bring Ottawa within one. Kyle Turris‘ strong forecheck and throwing it on the net from an impossible angle paid dividends as it somehow found its way past Jaroslav Halak. Ottawa took its first lead of the game eight and a half minutes in when Jason Spezza’s shot ramped off Jay Bouwmeester‘s stick and went over Halak’s glove to make it 4-3. Jordan Leopold scored his first of the year, banking a shot past Lehner from below the goal line, for a bad goal of their own. Overtime solved nothing and it went to the shootout. Mika Zibanejad and Stephane Da Costa scored for Ottawa by going backhand-shelf while Oshie and Alex Steen scored for St. Louis in the first three shooters, and after Lehner stopped Maxim Lapierre, Turris fired a wrist shot blocker side past Halak to give the Senators a much needed and impressive come from behind victory. SENSHOT’S PLAYER OF THE GAME Jason Spezza took a lot of flack for his play on the OT winner in Pittsburgh, but his play in this game was reminiscent of why he is a leader on this team. His set ups for the Karlsson and Michalek goals were great, and his goal that gave them the lead was solid. NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Extra credit for the Senators by fighting through the thuggish tactics of the blues and trying to keep their composure as much as possible. I guess Ken Hitchcock uses the theory that the officials can’t call everything against them, so continue the same way whether near the puck or not, and that eventually becomes the standard and gets allowed.
- Lehner played a great game until Leopold’s tying goal. Another case of a bad goal given up by the Senators at an inopportune time. This time around they were able to overcome it, and giving a point to the Blues isn’t a big factor.
UP NEXT The Senators have a great chance to go for 2 straight when they host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.