The Ottawa Senators played a pretty good game, but the combination of Roberto Luongo and a 23 second lapse in the 2nd period cost them as they went on to lose 3-2 in a shootout to the Florida Panthers.
Luongo was the story for the most part, as he made stellar saves early on as the Senators peppered him with 20 shots, that were all turned away. Ottawa was the beneficiary of a quick whistle as a loose puck ended up being tapped home by Sean Bergenheim, but the referee ruled the puck had been frozen, so it remained scoreless through 1.
It wasn’t until after the midway point of the game that the ice was broken, when Mark Stone picked up a rebound at the side of the net and snapped it past Luongo. Ottawa doubled their lead on a power play less than 5 minutes later, with Clarke MacArthur tipping a shot from Patrick Wiercioch to the top corner. Then, as the Senators have been prone to do, a short lapse in focus allowed Florida to get right back into the game. Bergenheim got one that counted just over a minute after MacArthur’s goal. Brian Campbell picked up a loose puck behind the Ottawa net and some poor defensive zone coverage meant nobody saw Bergenheim cruising in the slot, and he re-directed the pass past Lehner. Then just 23 seconds later Scottie Upshall got a pass through Wiercioch on a 2 on 1 to Vincent Trochek who went in alone on Lehner and put it though the Ottawa goalie to tie it up.
The third period was scoreless, penalty free and saw just 12 shots combined between two teams obviously playing for the extra time. Overtime saw Ottawa have to kill off a penalty for the second night in a row, which they did successfully, and the game went to the shootout.
After Kyle Turris had beaten Luongo stick side, Vincent Trochek made a quick deke move to beat Lehner. Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek both unsuccessfully tested Luongo’s glove on their shots, while Brandon Pirri beat Lehner for what turned out to be the winning goal as the Senators fell 3-2 in the shootout.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- It is too bad the team is so prone to momentary lapses in concentration that allows multiple goals in such short periods of time all too often. The Senators played a pretty good game and deserved a better fate even with Luongo’s heroics. But 23 seconds and all the hard work of the first 36 minutes was lost. That is debilitating and destructive to confidence.
- Lehner probably should have had the second goal, but the pass also shouldn’t have been able to get through Wiercioch, whose lone job on the 2 on 1 is to make sure the pass doesn’t get through. That is not going to help his status of perma-resident in Paul MacLean‘s doghouse.
Ottawa goes from outhouse to penthouse in terms of opposition when they return home to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night to start a 3 game in 4 night stretch.