NEWARK NJ - FEBRUARY 01: Goalie Robin Lehner #40 of the Ottawa Senators makes a save against the New Jersey Devils during the second period of an NHL hockey game at the Prudential Center on February 1 2011 in Newark New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Even though the Ottawa Senators had only managed six shots through the first two periods of their game against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night, fans kept watching the game because of the strong effort they were witnessing from goaltender of the
future present Robin Lehner. And Lehner didn't disappoint, stopping 31 of 33 shots, but unfortunately a flukey goal tipped off his defender and over his shoulder to spoil his second career NHL start.
Still, it was a very strong game for Lehner, and he made several tremendous stops; were one of the Senators other goaltenders in the net, it seems likely the score would have been 3-0 or worse after just 40 minutes. Coach Cory Clouston, after the game, said that Lehner's composure was veteran-like, and that the kid deserved a second straight start against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.
Bottom line, though, another mark in the Senators' loss column, their sixth in a row and tenth of the calendar year. One win in 2011 isn't helping fans get excited to watch games, although it is helping the Senators get better chances in the upcoming draft lottery. Small consolation as we watch these games, though.
Sens hero: Robin Lehner
Most was said above, but Lehner was really the only reason Ottawa was in the game. Jersey outshot the Sens 9-2 in the first period and had a 25-6 advantage after two periods, but thanks to some solid play from Lehner, the game was knotted at ones. An unlucky tip off Chris Phillips' stick cost Ottawa the game, but there was little Lehner could do on the play.
Sens hero: Chris Phillips
Despite being the goat on the game-winning goal, Phillips played one of his better games this season--which just makes it that much harder to see the replays where he tipped the puck past Lehner. You could see in his face and body language afterwards, Phillips had tried to clean up his game and just play simple hockey, but bad luck just keeps finding him. It's tough to see him struggling like this.
Solid debut: Colin Greening
The new kid didn't do too much in the game, but he was a solid presence. He played the system well, getting in on the forecheck well, and was solid physically. A good start, and Greening got the first game under his belt.