Game Report: Sens Lose in SO to Ducks 2-1

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Ottawa came into this game hoping to stop a four game home losing streak and give the Ottawa crowd something to cheer about. For 65 minutes, Ottawa fans waiting to cheer their boys on. But an amazing performance by Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller had the Ottawa fans going home empty handed. Now on a three game losing streak, and having lost nine out of their last ten games, Ottawa is fading fast in the East.

The first 20 minutes was pretty even as both teams peppered both goalies. As is the case most nights, the opposition goaltender made some amazing saves to stymie the Sens. Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller made 15 saves in the period with the biggest coming off rookie Bobby Butleras he broke in a fired one top corner only to have Hiller make an amazing glove save. Matt Carkner and George Parros tangled mid-way through the period, but neither could get lose as the fight ended in a draw. Corey Perry made a great individual play to open the scoring with his 24th of the year as Sergei Gonchar could not contain Perry as he scored with one hand on the stick while falling.

The second period was all Ottawa. Out-shooting the Ducks 13-3, Ottawa got on the board late in the period as Mike Fisher slipped his 13thof the year passed Hiller after some good work from Milan Michalek. Fisher was on a mission tonight and was rewarded for his effort. The Sens had their legs moving as they won most battles in the period.

The third period was a race to the finish as both teams traded chances. Both goalies took over the game and shut the door as Elliott and Hiller stopped 11 and 12 shots respectively. Brian Elliott had the biggest save of the game as he turned away Matt Beleskey on a breakaway mid way through the period. The Sens threw 39 shots at the Ducks net and could not get the go ahead goal.

The overtime period provided a lot of excitement, but the Sens could only muster one shot on goal. Having gone winless this season in extra time, the Sens headed to the dreaded shootout. Sending up Ottawa’s three best players in Alfie, Fisher and Erik Karlsson, Hiller stopped them all and sent the Ottawa crowd home angry.

The Positives

Brian Elliott has now put together a couple of good performances. Even though they have all been loses, Elliott can be happy that his game seems to have gotten back on track. Doing all he could tonight, Elliott was not the reason why the Sens lost this game.

Mike Fisherwas a beast tonight. All over the ice, Fish was the only Sen to beat Hiller as he threw seven shots on net. This was Fisher’s second goal in as many games as he has been stepping up his game in Spezza’s absence.

Milan Michalekcontinued his strong play of late with an assist on Fisher’s goal. With a second and third effort, Michalek got the puck to Fisher as he never gave up on the play. When these two are paired together, they out work their opponents and are a load to handle.

Rookie Bobby Butler had himself a good game. Playing a career high 18:27 minutes, Butler had three shots on net and looked quicker than he did last time he was up with the big club. He seems to have learned how he needs to play at this level to stay here as he had a few chances tonight.

Brian Leecontinues his comeback from healthy scratch to solid and steady defenceman. Tied for the fourth highest ice time among the d-corps, Lee is starting to pick up his physical play and improve his shot. May he have a career in Ottawa yet?

The Negatives

Ottawa played a hard fought game tonight. There were no glaring negatives that cost the team the game. I guess offense could be a negative, but Hiller stood on his head as Ottawa directed 40 shots his way.

Here are the Game Highlights courtesy of NHL.com.

***Three Stars***

First Star: Jonas Hiller – Made 40 saves and stopped all three Ottawa players in the shootout. He was the reason the Ducks left Ottawa with two points.

Second Star: Brian Elliott – Made 26 saves and kept the Sens in the game. Another strong performance, too bad the team couldn’t get him the win.

Third Star: Mike Fisher – Had a goal tonight and seven shots. Was a beast all night and was the Sens best forward all game.

Ottawa will have an off day tomorrow as they prepare to go to Philadelphia to take on the NHL leading Flyers. Ottawa’s chances do not look good as it can be expected their losing streak will continue. ‘Til next time, GO SENS GO!!!!!

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