Many people have complained about how the Senators have had to win games despite poor goaltending. Well, here was a night where they certainly won because of the man in net. The team tightened up defensively against the top team in the NHL and Craig Anderson put up a goose egg in net, giving the Senators their first shut out of the 2011-2012 season despite being outshot 34 - 24.
The first period was where Anderson was needed most, as the Rangers fired 13 shots on the Ottawa net, with Anderson making some big saves. Things looked like they were going to get worse for the Senators after Jason Spezza was the victim of a knee-on-knee from Ruslan Fedotenko, but Spezza was able to stay in the game. The game remained tied through the first period, but midway through the second Jason Spezza made a nice move to find some space and then fired a rocket to beat Henrik Lundqvist.
The Senators entered the third period with a 1-0 lead, meaning it was all but over for the Rangers. How could they compete with the NHL's best third period scoring team? They couldn't. The Senators scored two more goals before the end of the game, the first coming from Milan Michalek while the second was another Jason Spezza goal, this time on the powerplay.
Sens Hero: Craig Anderson
Anderson has played a lot of games this season, but he finally earned his first shutout of the season with a tremendous performance. Andy was solid as a rock out there, making big save after big save on the 34 shots that he faced.
Sens Hero: Jason Spezza
Spezza's performance on the scoresheet was not totally indicative of his play tonight. Though he had a solid game, his line with Greening and Michalek was hemmed into the defensive zone through most of the night, and was heavily outshot by the opposition. Still, to win games you need players to produce, and that's exactly what the top line for Ottawa did. In a three goal game, it's hard to not be the hero when you win 63% of your draws and put up two goals like Spezza did.
Karlsson wasn't as flashy as usual out there tonight, but he finished with two primary assists and was a beast defensively. I'm not kidding about the beast part, either -- Karlsson was using his 180lb body to knock 6'7" Brian Boyle to the ground. It was impressive.
Honourable Mentions: Kyle Turris, Sergei Gonchar, Jared Cowen
Turris was the catalyst on Ottawa's best line tonight, putting four shots on net and creating numerous great scoring chances. Gonchar and Cowen combined for a rather formidable shutdown pairing tonight, keeping the Rangers forwards from getting clean chances and each finishing the game with a team high TOI of 24:00.
Around the league: Mike Cammalleri traded
At the end of the Senators game, news spread that Mike Cammalleri was taken out of the Habs' game against the Bruins due to a trade. As per TSN, the deal is Cammalleri, goalie Karri Ramo and a 5th round pick to Calgary for Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and 2nd round pick in 2013.