Ottawa Senators Begin Four Game Road Trip With A Shootout Loss In Philadelphia


Jan 6, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) and Ottawa Senators defenseman Patrick Wiercioch (46) during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

It is crunch time for the Ottawa Senators as the gap between the contenders and the pretenders is slowly starting to grow. Ottawa did not take advantage of the opportunity tonight to come away with two points. Leaving an extra point to be decided in the shootout after having a dominate, five-minute overtime period.
There is not going to be a whole lot of opportunities for the Ottawa Senators to face opponents below them in the standings and the opportunity to separate themselves apart from the pack slipped away in Philadelphia.

Game Recap

The first two periods of the game didn’t provide the excitement the fans in Philadelphia had payed for. Coming into tonight you would expect with both teams having some of the weakest defenses in the league, that goals would come easy, wrong. Both the Ottawa Senators and Philadelphia Flyers would register a lot of shots but nothing to get you off your seat in anticipation of a goal.

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Aside from a good “mano e mano” fight between Ottawa’s Colin Greening and Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmons, the first two periods provided an usual stalemate of hockey. The pace in which you would have expected in a soccer game to say the least.

Jump to the third period and things get a little more exciting. The first goal of the game came courtesy of a no other than Mike Hoffman. Mike Hoffman’s 13th goal of the season displayed his biggest asset to the team, speed! Mike Hoffman managed to blow by past the Flyers’ Mark Streit, then gracefully tucking the puck past Steve Mason’s through his five hole. 1-0 Ottawa.

A few minutes later, Ottawa’s Clarke MacArthur was called for a hooking call that sent the Flyers to the power play. Philadelphia wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Just eight seconds into the power play and Wayne Simmonds ties it up. A Ottawa Senators penalty kill that didn’t manage any resistance at all, left Wayne Simmonds to notch his 16th goal of the season. 1-1 game. The game would then eventually lead to over time.

Over time was the best opportunity for the Ottawa Senators to grab two points. Opening the extra frame, Ottawa completely dominated. Controlling the puck in the Flyers defensive zone for a full two minutes straight, having the puck not leave the zone once. Ottawa did continue to pile on the chances throughout over time but it did not solve anything, off to the shootout.

Mika Zibanejad would score the first goal in the shootout followed by a goal by Jakub Voracek. The hands of an extra point would then fall to no other than Wayne Simmonds. Wayne Simmonds would attempt his first shootout goal of the year and he made no mistake. Wayne guided the puck through a visibly tired Craig Anderson and that would end the game.

Notes and Observations :
– Craig Anderson had me worried in that shootout; whether he was tired or not, he was extremely slow reacting to the fakes and dekes of the Flyer forwards.
– Mike Hoffman is a stud, on pace for 29 goals this season.
– Mike Hoffman is also going to make some nice money this off-season, if him and his agent can play their cards right.
– Ottawa really needs to win the remaining three games on the road for me to be satisfied. The playoffs are slipping away quicker then you think.
– Congrats to Ottawa’s Curtis Lazar on winning gold in the World Junior Tournament. Despite not playing in tonight’s game it’s going to be interesting to see what the Ottawa Senators management does with him for the remainder of the season.

Ottawa’s next game is against Colorado, 9pm Eastern time.