The Senators have had a few games this season where they outshot and outplayed the opposition but walked away with the loss. Tonight was the opposite of that -- despite being outplayed by the New York Islanders and getting outshot 38-26, the Ottawa Senators found a way to win with that timeless, fail proof method: Craig Anderson stopping (nearly) everything that came his way.
The first goal of the game was a powerplay marker from Colin Greening, although most of the credit has to go to Daniel Alfredsson. Alfie made a nifty move at the blueline to get the puck in the offensive zone and feed the puck to Greening, and then parked himself behind the net to get the puck back from Greening and set him up for the goal.
A few minutes later, Jakob Silfverberg chased a puck behind the net and fed it to Andre Benoit, who fired a one-timer from the point that gave him his first NHL goal. Actually, it was his second first NHL goal, seeing as his first one was disallowed due to a brutal goaltender interference call:
Photoshop by Ryan Classic
The Senators' 2-0 lead wouldn't last, though, as the Islanders broke Anderson's shutout bid early in the third period. The Sens became hemmed in their own zone after Eric Gryba failed to clear the puck, and the Sens could never regain possession. The puck eventually found its way to Travis Hamonic, who sat in the slot with far too much time and fired it past Anderson.
The Senators would regain their two goal lead late in the third period as Dave Dziurzynski picked up his own rebound to get his first NHL goal. On a related note, one anagram of "Dave Dziurzynski" is "Naked Dizzy Virus", which sounds like a pretty good nickname to me.
Sens Hero: Craig Anderson
Anderson was his usual spectacular self tonight, turning aside 37 of 38 shots for a .974 save percentage on the night. You know how Ichiro Suzuki starts running to first base before he's connected with the ball? That's kind of like how Craig Anderson appears to be directing his defensemen to where the rebound is going before the puck has even hit him.
Sens Hero: Colin Greening
Greening has had a tough year now that he's not playing on a line with Jason Spezza, but he was in top form tonight. He returned to playing a simple, physical game, and it reaped benefits for the Sens, as he had a goal, 2 takeaways, and a team-high 5 hits.
Sens Hero: Daniel Alfredsson
Alfie led all forwards in time-on-ice with 19:05, had 3 shots on net and got a great assist on Greening's goal. But more than that, he was the Senators' most effective forward tonight in just about every facet of the game. He was skating better than he has all year, creating great opportunities, and showing his outstanding puck possession skills. It took him a while to shake the rust off at the start of the season, but Alfie certainly looks like he's in midseason form now.
- Marc Methot wore the rotating "A" today and led the team in icetime (24:24); at the other end of the spectrum, Mika Zibanejad played just 9:14.
- Jakob Silfverberg led all Senators with 4 shots on goal. Chris Neil and Erik Condra were the only Senators forwards to not register a shot on goal.
- Kyle Turris struggled in the faceoff circle, winning just 5 of 15 draws.