After the buzzer sounded on the Ottawa Senators 2-0 victory over the Boston Bruins, I tweeted that those people who thought one of the goalies might get a shoutout would likely not have picked Brian Elliott to be the one to do so. But he did, chalking up a 31-save shutout in his 100th career game--not a bad way to celebrate that milestone. And he played well, too.
The whole Senators team played well, though. Ottawa controlled the play very well in the first period, hemming the Bruins in their own zone for extended periods and taking the lead they wouldn't relinquish when Erik Karlsson put a sneaky snapshot past Tim Thomas. And unlike in some recent games, Ottawa locked things up in the third period, playing conservative defensive hockey and holding on for the two points.
Sens Hero: Brian Elliott
There's not much more I can say beyond what I said above about Elliott: He played well, controlled and smothered his rebound, and was probably Ottawa's best player. But he was lucky, too; some fortunate bounces as well as a puck that could easily have been tapped in with a stick were it not punched in by a Bruins offender. Elliott deserved his shutout tonight.
Sens Hero: Jason Spezza
It's pretty amazing that Spezza didn't have a point tonight considering how well he and his linemates played on the night. Spezza himself hit a post or two, and was stoned on some other plays. He played another good game, and his line keeps on rolling even when they're not scoring.
Sens Hero: Erik Karlsson
With the game-winner tonight, Karlsson has seven points in his last six games--and he's earned each of them. He's put together a heck of a good streak here, and it will be impressive if he can maintain consistency in play for the majority of the season, even if it's unreasonable to expect a scoring pace like this throughout.
Bruins Hero: Tim Thomas
Although Thomas stoned the Senators on a number of chances, he wasn't quite a Sens Killer. Still, he kept the Bruins in the game throughout, and was their best player. They didn't win, but Thomas' teammates owe him thanks (again).
Chivalry isn't dead: Zdeno Chara and Chris Neil
People might give Neil credit for not pummeling Chara when he had him on the ice, but it's not fair to do so without acknowledging the fact that Chara had every opportunity to cave in Neil's face earlier in the fight. Chara had an arm completely free, and held off. It was about as respectful as two grown men who were engaging in a fistfight could have been.
Good start: Filip Kuba
Wasn't remarkable tonight, but it was a great start for Kuba tonight, and goes some way in justifying his extended rehab. He was good positionally and pretty strong on the penalty kill. Plus he got the Filip Kuba trademark secondary assist on Ottawa's second goal, meaning he's had at least a point in every game he's played this season.