Occasionally, limiting your opponent to only a handful of shots just isn't enough. This is particularly true when those handful of shots come off of egregious turnovers that end up in the back of your own net.
Such was the story tonight for the Ottawa Senators, who despite outshooting the Rangers 31-19 ended up losing the game. That's the fourth straight loss for the Senators, who have not yet won a game in November.
The Senators dominated the first period, outshooting the Rangers 11-4, but neither team scored in the first frame. The Sens opened the scoring early in the second when Jason Spezza made an outstanding pass back to a streaking Milan Michalek, who went upstairs for his team-leading tenth goal of the season. Michalek is now tied for second in NHL scoring.
Unfortunately, a couple of bad turnovers in the defensive zone led to the Rangers taking a two goal lead. The first ugly giveaway was from Sergei Gonchar on the boards, the second was from David Rundblad behind the net. The Senators never managed to recover, as Marian Gaborik made it 3-1 early in the third period, and Nick Foligno's goal (from Stephane Da Costa and Bobby Butler) simply wasn't enough.
Sens Hero: Milan Michalek
Michalek had the team's first goal tonight to continue his incredible start to the season, and he also led the team in shots with 5. Michalek is now second on the team in shots, behind only Erik Karlsson.
Honourable Mention: Stephane Da Costa
Da Costa had a solid game all around, but he really turned it on in the third period. He assisted on Nick Foligno's goal, but he also created numerous chances with his excellent vision and some great hands. His most notable play was where he batted the puck out of mid air and over the defender, grabbed the puck with his hand and dropped it down to his stick and got a shot on Lundqvist. It was a stunning bit of creativity, and showed yet another glimpse of Da Costa's potential.
Sens Zero: Giveaways
I've already mentioned the Gonchar and Rundblad giveaways that led directly to goals, and both were simply unacceptable. However, they weren't the only giveaways during the game -- far from it. The Senators were credited with an appalling 21 giveaways in the game, a stark contrast from the Rangers' 8. David Rundblad led all Senators with 4, while Zack Smith and Bobby Butler had 3 apiece.
Sens Killer: Blocked Shots
Remember how I mentioned that the Senators had 31 shots on net? They also had 23 more shots that were blocked by the Rangers. For those who were wondering, Ottawa only blocked 8 shots in the game.
Sens Killers: Derek Stepan and Marian Gaborik
These two linemates were all over the Senators tonight, and were key to the Rangers' win. Gaborik had two goals, while Stepan had a goal and two assists.
NHL Firsts: Jared Cowen's first fight
Jared Cowen already has his first NHL goal (eat it, Rundblad), and decided that he'd add an NHL fight to his resume. He decided to go against one of the few Rangers who outweighs him in Andre Deveaux -- between the two of them, there was 469 pounds in that fight. Yowza.