It wasn't an overly exciting game, but tonight's 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks did have its moments. The game featured only one penalty: a minor for hooking to Duncan Keith late in the first period. The Senators failed to score with the man advantage before the period ended, but went up 1-0 early in the second on a power play goal by Daniel Alfredsson before giving up the lead to Chicago on goals by Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane. Milan Michalek surprised everyone with a goal in the final two minutes of regulation to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Tied at 2-2 after the overtime period, the teams went to a shootout. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored for the Blackhawks, while Alex Kovalev missed and Daniel Alfredsson rang one off a post for the Senators. And so we have another game taken to extra time that ends in a Senators loss, a recurring theme for this increasingly dud of a season.
Sens Killer: Patrick Kane
Kane had a goal in regulation that put the Blackhawks up 2-1 and another in the shootout to seal the game. Patrick Kane was very good tonight. Love him or hate him, Patrick Kane is stealthy can be absolutely deadly if you give him any room.
Elliott made 24 saves tonight, but some of them were real doozies. The frustrating thing with Elliott is just how inconsistent he is. For as bad as he was against Toronto on Saturday, Elliott was as good tonight. He didn't need to be fantastic, but he made plenty of saves when he needed to. Without him, the Senators wouldn't have even gotten to overtime. The one asterisk to his game: Elliott went 0-for-2 in the shootout, effectively losing the game for the Senators right off the bat.
Sens Hero: Daniel Alfredsson
A goal and an assist (his 13th of each) helped Daniel Alfredsson take over the team scoring lead from sophomore defenceman Erik Karlsson. He logged over 22 minutes of ice time to boot. I still don't think he's healthy, but the captain definitely did not hurt his team tonight. Not until ringing one off the post in the shootout, anyway.
Sens Hero-to-Zero: Erik Karlsson
Karlsson made a gorgeous pass to Alfredsson on the power play tonight that got the scoring started, but as good as Karlsson was on that play, he was terrible in the third period when Patrick Kane swiped a puck off his stick and potted one behind Brian Elliott to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead. Karlsson was -2 on the night.
Sens Zero: Chris Phillips
Slow and error-prone, Chris Phillips was once again terrible. He was only credited with one giveaway, but it seemed like every time Phillips was on the ice, something went wrong. I've long been one of Phillips' biggest supporters, but we're going on 40+ games now and aside from some brief average play, Philips has been brutal. Like Karlsson, Phillips was -2 tonight.
Sens Zero: Alex Kovalev
Zero goals, assists, points, penalties, penalty minutes, shots, missed shots, hits, giveaways, takeaways, blocked shots, etc. etc. etc. For a guy who took 20 shifts, Alex Kovalev used his 15:51 of ice time to register a zero in every statistical category but one: he took a single shot that was blocked by the opposing team. He even missed his shootout attempt.
Sens Silver Star: Brian Lee
No, really. Lee didn't do enough to deserve a Sens Hero ranking, but he did much more than most expected. Lee has a tendency to "save his best" for later in the season, and tonight he made a case to stay in the lineup. Lee had one shot on goal, one attempted shot that got blocked, three missed shots, three hits, and led the team with four blocked shots. He was also even in +/-.
Sens Participation Ribbon: Jesse Winchester
Winchester had another solid, but ultimately unspectacular night. He get any points, but he attempted five shots, four of which hit the net. He threw two hits and was 6-5 on the face-off dot. Winchester didn't do enough to earn hero status, but he was once again one of the best Senators on the ice.
Shot Count: Unavailable (thanks, ESPN)
Lottery Pick Update: .463 point percentage (26th in the NHL, in lottery pick position)