The Ottawa Senators continue to slide and don’t look like things are going to change any time soon. The Dallas Stars scored 3 unanswered goals after the Senators took a 1-0 first period lead, extending the Senators’ losing streak to 6 games. For the Stars, it was a game they desperately needed to get closer to a playoff spot, and that desperation showed, especially over the last 40 minutes.
Ottawa opened the scoring after getting a pretty decent start in this afternoon road game. Colin Greening led the rush and delayed just in the Star’s zone and found Erik Karlsson as the trailer on the play. A nice pass allowed Karlsson to step into a one-timer which he powered past Kari Lehtonen before the game was 3 and a half minutes old. That seemed to be a wake-up call for the Stars, as they started putting the boots to the Senators and chipping away at the Senators. They ended the first period by putting 17 shots on Robin Lehner (compared to just 7 by the Senators), but the Swede stood strong not always making it look pretty but stopping them all.
Dallas evened the score late in the second, with Valeri Nichushkin driving the net and trying to stuff one past Lehner. He made the save but the puck stayed loose under him and Cody Eakin jammed it home. That was all the scoring in the frame that was pretty even with Dallas outshooting Ottawa 14-12.
Some poor defensive zone coverage led to the Stars taking the lead. A goalmouth scramble had 4 Senators defenders in the crease area, but nobody had the pinching defenseman Trevor Daley, which is where the puck ended up in the slot. Daley found a way to put the puck through the mass of bodies past Lehner for the go-ahead goal before the 5 minute mark. Jamie Benn capped the scoring a couple of minutes later on the rush, taking a pass from Tyler Seguin and putting a wrist shot past Lehner for his 30th goal of the season. Bobby Ryan left the game favoring his rib area with about 7 minutes left after being drilled into the boards. The penalty filled third period didn’t allow Ottawa to get any momentum and they continued their losing streak, now at 6 games.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Lehner stopped 41 shots and was named the third star in the opposing building. That is an impressive feat, but he doesn’t look comfortable at all and seems to make the easy saves look difficult and that is a sign of a goalie lacking confidence.
- Chris Neil had a couple of scraps in this one, trying to get his team going the best way he knows how.
- The downward spiral of the Senators continue and the frustration is evident, but nobody seems to have the answers. Playing for pride doesn’t seem to be enough.
The Senators visit the Sunshine state for a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night.