The Senators extended their winning streak to five games today, and if there's one thing to be taken away from this string of wins it's that this is a team that will play to the final minute, even when they appear down and out. The Senators were down 4-1 with only 11 minutes remaining in the game, but they still found a way to rally back and come out with another big win.
The Senators had a strong start to thegame, outshooting the Rangers 13-9 in the first period and coming out with the period's only goal. The goal was scored on a Filip Kuba point shot, with Erik Karlsson and Kaspars Daugavins getting credited with the assists. Upon further review, it turned out that the puck went in off Chris Neil, so he got credit and Daugavins lost his first NHL point. Poor guy.
The dynamic of the game changed dramatically in the second period when Zenon Konopka was given a five minute major and ejected from the game for a hit on Artem Anisimov. Whether he should have faced such a reprimand is debatable, but you can't argue the effect it had on the game. The Rangers scored two goals on the resulting powerplay to go up 2-1, and the Senators looked lost for the next twenty minutes.
The Rangers would add two more goals early in the third period, giving them a 4-1 lead that looked insurmountable, particularly with the strong play of Henrik Lundqvist. Nevertheless, the Senators found a way to come back, as two goals from Jason Spezza brought the team within one, and Milan Michalek managed to push home the tying goal. Overtime solved nothing, but Milan Michalek was the only scorer in the shootout, giving the Senators a well-deserved 5-4 win. The Senators are now above .500 for the first time this season.
Sens Hero: Jason Spezza
Spezza had two goals on the night: the first was a beautiful tip-in on a Sergei Gonchar shot, while the second was a slap shot where he waited patiently for havoc in front of the net (created by Colin Greening) to give him a good screen. Spezza is now 2nd in the NHL in points with 15, and tied for third in goals with 7.
Get Well Soon: Daniel Alfredsson
Alfredsson left the game in the third period after receiving an ugly head shot from Wojtek Wolski. It looked bad for Alfredsson, but hopefully he'll be able to return for tomorrow night's game. Have to imagine Wolksi will have an awkward meeting with Brendan Shanahan after that hit.
Sens Hero: Filip Kuba
Kuba has been a different player in the early part of this season, showing great chemistry with Erik Karlsson and far more hustle than we're used to seeing from him. He had three assists on the night. He was second on the team in time on ice with 24:42. First in TOI was Erik Karlsson with an outrageous 29:45
Honourable Mentions: Erik Karlsson, Milan Michalek
As mentioned above, Karlsson was on the ice for nearly half the game. He also posted two assists, giving him the league lead with 11. Michalek had a two-point night as well (1G, 1A), and the shootout winner.
Other Stats and Notes:
- Stephane Da Costa won only 2 of 11 faceoffs, giving him an 18% faceoff percentage.
- The Senators outshot the Rangers 40-28.
- Craig Anderson almost received a Sens Zero due to his save percentage of .857, but he redeemed himself with a huge save in overtime to push the game to a shootout. He then shut the door on the Rangers in the shootout, not allowing a single goal.
- David Rundblad had more icetime tonight than Chris Phillips. Rundblad played 20:45. Jared Cowen had the lowest time on ice of the Sens' blueliners with 13:38.
- Filip Kuba and Chris Phillips each had two blocked shots on the night. I never thought I'd say this, but Filip Kuba is tied for most shots blocked on the Ottawa Senators with 17.