I wrote after Tuesday’s loss in Edmonton that the lid on the coffin of the Ottawa Senators’ playoff hopes was slammed closed by the Oilers. Wednesday night the Calgary Flames put the first nail in that coffin as they humbled the Senators by a score of 4-1. Not to make this recap an indictment of the whole season, because that is an entirely different conversations, but to go through Alberta and get swept is unacceptable for a team with designs on making a playoff run.
Calgary’s Markus Granlund opened the scoring just over two minutes into the game after Zack Smith tried to carry the puck out of the Ottawa zone and simply gave it to Max Reinhart just outside the blue line. The turnover led to Reinhart throwing it at the net and Granlund tipping it past Craig Anderson for his first career NHL goal.
Calgary doubled its lead on a mid-second period power play, with Paul Byron deflecting a pass from Mark Giordano past Anderson from the hash marks after Byron lost his check in traffic. Joe Colborne made it 3-0 late in the frame after Colin Greening foiled the Flames’ rush, but nobody stuck with Colborne and he was wide open at the side of the net to take the pass from Jiri Hudler after Sean Monahan did a nice job of puck retrieval behind the Ottawa net.
Kyle Turris got one back just past the halfway point of the third, pouncing on a loose rebound given up by Joni Ortio (who?) and sliding it home. It was too little, too late for the Senators as Ottawa failed to get the puck out on the penalty kill and a nice passing play from Monahan to Giordano to Mike Cammalleri ended up in the back of the net to make it a 4-1 final.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- You have to wonder if Paul MacLean is making any in-game adjustments any more. Mika Zibanejad was 58% on the faceoffs, led the team with 5 shots on goal and his reward was less than 12 minutes of ice time.
- Bobby Ryan has to be one frustrated sniper, again below 16 minutes and seeing time on the 4th line. He even got in a fight with Kris Russell.
- Ales Hemsky had a pretty inauspicious debut in a Senators uniform, playing just under 16 minutes with 2 shots on goal after being acquired from Edmonton earlier in the day and travelling in the afternoon to meet the team in Calgary.
- How the Senators don’t come out with a desperate effort against a team icing a lot of minor leaguers is beyond me. The three stars for the game were Joni Ortio (in his 2nd career NHL game), Paul Byron (64 career NHL games) and Lance Bouma (100 career NHL games).
The Senators will try to start making a run that will turn the unlikely into a possibility with a win in Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon.