Robin Lehner's first NHL start proved to be a successful one as the Senators downed the New York Islanders 6-4. Corey Locke, making his Ottawa Senators debut after a call-up from Binghamton, had an assist on the game.
The Senators came out with a bang, with captain Daniel Alfredsson scoring just 32 seconds in. The Senators finished the first period ahead 2-1, but the second period is where they really shone, popping in four more goals to end the second up 6-2. They also chased goalie Kevin Poulin, and then chased his reliever Nathan Lawson, and the Isles brought Poulin out for more punishment in the third.
The Senators sat back too much in the third, allowing two goals against but managing to hold on for the win, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how badly you want this team to tank.
Sens Hero: Jesse Winchester
Winnie's excellent play along the boards tonight was rewarded with a goal, an assist, and the first star of the game. He also put up 6 shots on goal, which might be a record for the guy. The goal was his fourth on the season -- a new career high.
Sens Heroes: Milan Michalek & Chris Kelly
These two were a dynamic duo on the night, each finishing with a goal and an assist, and assisting on each other's goals. Michalek's was shorthanded, the result of a nice feed from Chris Kelly on a 2-on-1, while Kelly's goal was a nice shot from the slot with Michalek assisting and setting up a screen of the goalie.
Well, that's a plus: Sergei Gonchar
Gonchar was +5 tonight, which is fairly strange considering he entered the game -20
and finished the game without a point (Edit: he had an assist).
Well, that's a minus: Erik Karlsson
Karlsson finished -2, also without a point. Ouch. Of course, he also led all players with a remarkable 27:17 time on ice, so a couple are bound to go in on his watch.
Brian Lee Watch
Lee played 17:12 tonight, more than either Matt Carkner (16:04) or Filip Kuba (14:45). He also had an assist, giving him his first point of the season, had a team-high 5 hits, and finished +2, making him one of few Senators with a positive +/- on the season.
You'll likely win a lot of your games if you're getting 38 shots like the Senators did tonight. Then again, it's not good to only win 24 of 66 faceoffs. The Senators' poor faceoff rating can be largely attributed to Corey Locke, who only won 2 of 12 draws. Mike Fisher wasn't much better, going 8 for 23.
So, how was Lehner?
Yes, Lehner got the victory tonight, but that was because of the unusual amount of goal support he had from the forwards. He only faced 24 shots and let in 4 goals, and while it's hard to fault him on a couple of the goals (Trevor Gillies' goal deflected off his leg and went in up high, while P.A. Parenteau's point shot was tipped in by Chris Phillips), he still does not look NHL ready. His rebound control is certainly off, and he still makes some strange decisions an NHL goalie cannot make (for an example, watch the Comeau goal). Regardless, it's good to see him get the win in his first start.