The Ottawa Senators begun their fresh new season in Nashville as a part of their three game road trip to open the new campaign. The debut of former Nashville great, David Legwand and Sens star rookie Curtis Lazar provided some fresh new faces into the Ottawa Senators lineup. Tonight’s game had it’s fair share of theatrics from both ends of the ice. A total of 57 shots combined from both teams. Even though there was no scoring in the first period, the game provided a competitive, strong pace for the full sixty minutes.
Don’t dismiss the first period of this game, even with the lack of scoring the Senators and Predators provided some fast, fresh opening season hockey. The Senators starting off shaky, having trouble getting the puck out of their own end for the first couple of shifts. But the Senators would fight back mid-way through the first and offer some scoring chances, challenging Pekka Rinne into some tough situations.
A big open ice hit from Nashville defensemen, Anton Volchenkov on Senators rookie Curtis Lazar was the highlight of the first period. Curtis Lazar managed to stay on for the rest of the game. The offensive pressure from the Nashville continued throughout the first as the Predators finished off the period registering thirteen shots to Ottawa’s nine.
If you want to talk about an opening season goal, just ask Senator, Kyle Turris. Kyle provided the first goal of the game and in style. What had started from a defensive zone face off in their own end quickly sprung into a Ottawa Senators highlight reel goal from Kyle Turris. Mark Borowiecki provided a strong outlet pass to Clarke MacArthur in the neutral zone, which then lead to a golden two on one opportunity down the ice. Instead of making the pass Kyle Turris decides to shoot and makes no mistake. Kyle gives the Senators an early season period lead.
The Senators would continue to play well in the Nashville’s zone until the quarter mark of the second period. The Predators would begin to pull away in the “Corsi for” category, as star players from Nashville like Shea Weber, Paul Gaustad and James Neal would lead a sudden surge of possession for Nashville till the end of the period. And trust me it didn’t stop there. A late period interference call by Senators defensemen, Jared Cowen didn’t help either. The Nashville Predators would begin the third period on the powerplay.
Now this is where things began to get ugly for Ottawa. An early third period powerplay goal from Predators Center, Craig Smith would help continue the Predators surge on offense. Seven minutes later another Predators goal found its way behind the back of the net, courtesy of Nashville’s All-Star defensemen, Shea Weber. Nashville left winger, Eric Nystrom would join the scoring party as the Predators chances that had been generated all game, finally capitalize on the scoreboard. At this point of the game the Senators defense would find the mistakes they’ve made all game, finally get to them. And the Predators made sure of it.
Even with the newly acquired Senator, Alex Chiasson scoring his first as a Senator with six minutes left in the game, the Senators couldn’t find themselves a tying goal.
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Senshot Player of the Game
Tonight’s player of the game goes to none other than Nashville’s All-star defensemen, Shea Weber. Shea continued to show why he should be considered the best all-around defensemen in the game today. With an impressive wrap around goal and 26:52 of ice time; Shea continues to be a work horse for the Nashville Predators. He also finished with a very impressive 65.7% Corsi for in 5v5 situations. Clearly playing at an elite level.
Notes and Observations
– From the get go I wasn’t impressed with the way the Senators defence played. Had trouble just getting the puck out of their own zone and it continued throughout the game.
– Sens rookie, Curtis Lazar played like he was a seasoned veteran. Paul MacLean clearly had confidence in the young star putting him in tight situations such as the penalty kill. I expect some great things from Curtis this season.
– The Senators were missing that spark, that offensive flair and passing to generate scoring opportunities all games.
– WHY in the world was Chris Neil on the ice as the extra attacker in the dying minutes of a one goal game??? Explanation please!
– Jared Cowen and Chris Phillips weren’t at all impressive, I would like Patrick Wiercioch to get a look next game.
– It was a team losing effort. Defense had a hard time getting the puck out and the offense didn’t generate much.
– Bobby Ryan was pretty quiet, all game. Hope he steps up next game.
– The Senators finished the game with a poor 36.5% Corsi for during 5v5 play. Flat out sad.
The Senators travel to Tampa Bay this Saturday in their first Saturday Night Hockey tilt of the season.
Advanced Stats provided by hockeystats.ca
Stats provided by NHL.com