Game Report: Sens Show Fight, But Still Fall 4-2 in Van-City

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Your Ottawa Senators had the tough task last night of taking on the league’s best team, the Vancouver Canucks. With nine loses in a row, a goalie on a 12 game losing streak, and a defense that doesn’t know what defense means, the recipe was there for a disastrous game for Ottawa.

The first period was much the same for Ottawa lately. The other team scores a few quick goals and puts the team in a hole from the get go. The defense did no favours for Brian Elliott as they let the Canuck players break free in front of the net. Elliott probably should of had Ryan Kesler‘s shot on the second goal, but Kesler’s stick is on fire right now as that was his fourth goal in as many games. The Ottawa highlight of the first period was a massive hit from Chris Neil on Canuck captain Henrik Sedin which led to a Neil vs. Arron Rome tilt.

The second period was a tale of two teams. Just over two minutes into the period, Mikael Samuelsson scored his 12th of the year after some amazing effort by Kesler. But after that goal, Ottawa seemed to wake up and went on the attack. Nick Foligno got Ottawa on the board with a spinning back hand past Roberto Luongo a few minutes after the third Canuck goal. Then Jason Spezza broke in on a three-on-zero break-a-way due to a horrendous Vancouver line change. Spezza decided to keep the puck and scored on his own rebound for his first goal since coming back from his shoulder injury.

The third period was a dog fight as Ottawa threw everything they had at the Vancouver net in hopes of getting that third goal. But Vancouver also fought back as they had many chances to put this game away. Elliott made a few amazing saves to keep Ottawa in this game, especially in the dying moments as he robbed Raffi Torres with an awesome blocker save. Ottawa fought all period but couldn’t beat Bobby Lou. Samuelsson got his second of the night as he put this game away for good with the empty net goal.

Positives

Brian Elliott made 26 saves tonight, and redeemed himself a little bit for his poor play as of late. Elliott kept Ottawa in the game and didn’t allow a back breaking fourth goal. Even though he lost, Elliott can used this game and build off of it.

Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist tonight, his first points since his injury. Spezza looked good out there, and was trying to make plays happen. He also went 10-6 on face-offs and had seven shots on goal.

Negatives

The defense once again was guilty of turnovers and poor coverage that led to goals. Chris Phillips was guilty on the first goal, and who knows what Filip Kuba was doing on the third goal. Someone needs to snap this veteran unit back into shape.

The team has now lost ten games in a row, and 16 of their last 17 games. When will they win again is anybody’s guess.

Here are the game highlights courtesy of NHL.com.

***Three Stars***

First Star: Ryan Kesler – earns it with a goal and an assist and all around solid play.

Second Star: Jason Spezza – had a goal and an assist and was the Sens best forward on the ice.

Third Star: Manson Raymond – had three assists as he used his speed to create offense all night long.

Ottawa now sits 28th in the league with the possibility of landing in the NHL basement by the end of the week. They showed fight tonight, but they still didn’t play a full 60 minute game. With the red hot Calgary Flames on deck for Wednesday night, this four game road trip looks to get worst before it gets better. ‘Til next time, GO SENS GO!!!!!

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