The Senators continue to make a good case for that first overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft with a loss to the Eastern Conference's basement dwelling New York Islanders.
The first period was all kinds of insane, with each team giving up three goals. That's six goals on 19 shots in the first period, most caused by pathetic goaltending. On the bright side, it resulted in this great tweet from a Quebecois reporter:
Incompréhensible que Brian Elliott soit encore devant le filet des Sénateurs après cette première période affreuse.
Incomprehensible that Brian Elliott is still in goal for the Senators after this dreadful first period.
And when the second period started, it was Robin Lehner in the Ottawa net.The Sens caught a break early in the second period when an Islanders goal was disallowed, but didn't take advantage of this break with any goals of their own. The Isles got a powerplay goal in the third to make it 4-3, and then added an empty-netter to win the game 5-3.
Sens Hero: Robin Lehner
Lehner still doesn't look anywhere near NHL-ready to me, but he still made 23 saves on 24 shots in his two periods of play, including several extremely nice ones. Sure, some folks will note that the game-winning power play goal was a result of his undisciplined attack on
Andrew MacDonald Kevin Poulin , and that's hard to argue with. But at the same time, it was kind of funny, wasn't it?
Sens Zero: Brian Elliott
Simply an awful first period for Elliott, who was handing out rebounds like Robin Lehner hands out punishing hits.
Sens Killers: Rob Schremp and Michael Grabner
The Senators were hurt by these waiver wire pick-ups tonight: Schremp had two goals, while Grabner had a goal and an assist. Grabner also drew several penalties due to his fantastic speed.
Spezza didn't register a point tonight, but that's not due to lack of effort -- he had four shots on goal along with a ridiculous 8 shot attempts that were blocked by the Islanders. He was also 70% on his team-high 23 faceoffs in the faceoff circle, despite his shoulder still not being 100%. Perhaps the most refreshing thing about having Spezza back were seeing the kind of outrageous tape-to-tape passes that no other Senator can do -- you know the kind, the one where Jason is facing the net, eyes on goalie, and somehow swings the puck across the ice surface at a seeming impossible angle.
Chris Campoli had two assists and three shot blocks against his former team. Alex Kovalev continued his strong play as of late, popping in a goal off of a fantastic set-up from Peter Regin. Brian Lee was a team high +2. Zack Smith took a puck to the face in the second period that left him bloodied, but he returned to the ice (without a visor) later in the game.