Tonight's game was eerily similar to the Senators' Tuesday night win over the Maple Leafs: the team got off to a 3-0 lead after two periods, received an excellent performance in net from Brian Elliott, then sat back on their lead. It wasn't pretty, but once again the Senators came out with the W, now their fourth win in five games.
Opening the scoring was Sergei Gonchar, whose back-to-back goal-scoring performance is the first of its kind by a Senators defenseman since Alex Picard did so in December 2009. This was followed by an even more rare occurrence: a David Hale goal, just the fourth of his 309 game NHL career. Jason Spezza got the third goal for the Senators, while Chris Kelly put in an empty-netter to finish the job. Matt Moulson was the lone goal-scorer for the Isles.
Sens Hero: Jason Spezza
Spezza was a beast tonight, having a hand in all of the Senators' goals: he scored one of the team's goals while getting the primary assist on the other three. Even when the team was up 3-1 with only 20 seconds left, he forechecked as hard as a player could, created a turnover and set up Kelly's empty-net goal. He also was off the ice for the only goal against, giving him a sterling +4 on a night when he led all forwards in ice-time. This was Spezza's ninth four-point night of his career, and he now has 9 points in 8 games this season.
Sens Hero: Brian Elliott
Elliott made 28 saves on the night, including two huge breakaway saves on Blake Comeau in the third period. He was often left out to dry by his defensemen, but he still managed to pull out some big stops when his team needed him.
Sens Hero: Dwayne Roloson
On two of the three goals against while he was in net, Roloson really should have made the stop. This is especially true of Hale's goal, which was about as ugly as they come. If the Senators had Roloson in net and the Isles had Elliott, the Senators would have lost. It's as simple as that.
Sens Zero: Sitting on the lead
Much like the game against Toronto, the Senators took a three-goal lead into the third, and decided that their work was done for the night. They mustered only 5 shots in the entire third period -- a pathetic effort.
Sens Zero: Turnovers
The stat sheet says 15 giveaways by the Senators, but there were certainly more. Two were particularly egregious: the first being when Erik Karlsson made a drop pass in his own zone to John Tavares, while the other was when Karlsson and Sergei Gonchar failed to connect on the powerplay, leaving Blake Comeau a nice breakaway. The Senators are lucky that these turnovers didn't cost them.
Sens Hero: Peter Regin
Regin showed great chemistry playing on a line with Jason Spezza tonight, getting two assists of his own and finishing +3 on the night.