Even when the Ottawa Senators were beating the Edmonton Oilers, this was a trying game to watch--slow, fairly few shots, and scoring chances as rare as laughs during a re-run of Two and a Half Men. When Ottawa did get shots, they weren't high-percentage shots, and there wasn't enough traffic in front of the net. Still, the Senators had control of the game for the first 20 minutes, which makes the loss all the more disappointing.
Traffic wasn't a problem for Edmonton, however. Tom Gilbert opened the scoring with Magnus Paajarvi right in front of the net (it actually looked like Paajarvi might have tipped it in), and Andrew Cogliano tipped in a Gilbert Brule shot for the game-winner. The Senators will likely have to drive to the net for rebounds if they're going to score enough goals to win.
Sens Killer: Penalties
No question about this. Ottawa had control of the game through the first half, but then a series of five straight penalties and gave the Oilers the momentum they needed to get into the game. Edmonton's first goal was a powerplay marker by Tom Gilbert, and the Oil didn't look back after that.
Sens Hero: Peter Regin
Perhaps the only Senator who actually played well tonight. He didn't put anything up on the scoresheet, but he was doing as well as he could while his linemates were struggling to get even the most basic of chances, and was skating as well as he can. It's unfortunate that his good play seems to have coincided with the struggles of the rest of the team.
Oilers Hero: Martin Gerber
It might be overstating things to suggest Gerber's effort was heroic tonight, but he was good for the Oilers. His strength has always been cutting down angles and hugging posts, which he did tonight. To be successful against him, you've got to get him moving and push for rebounds--Ottawa didn't really do that well enough tonight, so Gerber looked all the better for it. The one big play Gerber made, however, was his game-changing stop on Daniel Alfredsson's short-handed breakaway; if he'd scored, the Sens would have been up by two goals.
Slumpdog Millionaire: Nick Foligno
He finally did it, folks. It took a little help from Ladislav Smid, but Foligno was finally able to shed the Bill Muckalt comparisons and score his first goal of the season. He's been playing well recently so it seemed it would come soon, but not a moment too soon.
Two contributors on this blog--both of whom shall remain nameless--fell asleep during this game. For real. And I can't exactly say I blame them; this game was boring for the first 40 minutes, and only picked up in the third because the Senators started getting lit up by the Oilers.