An uncharacteristically physical performance from Dallas could not save the Stars from the Ottawa Senators system.
A four-game win streak is nothing to be sniffed at. To maintain a winning formula at this time of the season is crucial, Guy Boucher and his men have done precisely that.
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Clinical is the best word to describe last night’s performance. Scoring five goals on only 23 shots, they made the best of the opportunities given to them. Kari Lehtonen had another howler last night. Pulled after three goals on 18 shots, leaving him a .833 save percentage for the night.
Antti Niemi entered the crease in relief of his compatriot. As has happened throughout this season, not faring much better at all. Conceding a further two goals on just five shots, a woeful .600 save percentage in 35 minutes of ice time.
Craig Anderson was outstanding yet again, are Sens getting bored of hearing this? Absolutely not, he keeps standing on his head and allowing the system to nourish. Saves like the slapshot from Klingberg in the second period, simply smothering the puck and preventing a rebound. Rebounds are where substandard and out of form goaltenders get found out in this league. Anderson finishing with a .945 save percentage on 37 shots, the man is on fire.
Abusing The Dallas Penalty Kill
As mentioned in the buildup, Dallas had the worst Penalty Kill in the league. Going into the game the Dallas Stars were 74.1 percent. After last night’s debacle it dropped even further to 73.5 percent. A comfortable three percent below 29th placed Buffalo Sabres.
The first a beautiful passage of play between Ceci, Stalberg and eventually Wideman. 13:41 into the initial frame, textbook powerplay goal against the last placed penalty kill.
Striking again in less conventional fashion, Dion Phaneuf striking from the blue-line and Viktor Stalberg tipping it past Antti Niemi, 18:09 into the second period.
It’s always special to get your first NHL goal, especially at such a crucial point of the season. Frederik Claesson doing just that, 15:21 into the first, securing a 2-0 lead for the Ottawa Senators. Taking a bobbling puck from the faceoff and slapping it past Lehtonen with true velocity. It is in no way easy to hit it like that, especially when the puck is on edge. His first goal in his 20th game this season.
It hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows this season, but things are looking rather rosy now. A win against the flatlining Coyotes heaps pressure on Montreal. They themselves have an extremely tricky task at the Scotiabank Saddledome tonight, facing an in-form Calgary Flames. A win for the Sens and a loss for Montreal, would place Ottawa in the Atlantic driving seat.