The Ottawa Senators' 5-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers was a lot closer than it should have been for a lot longer than it should have been. If not for a solid first period from Brian Elliott, and then a pretty good second period, the game could have been well out of hand early. It wasn't out of hand early, but the Senators forwards weren't able to take advantage and get themselves back in the game, in part because they weren't shooting enough--the line of Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek, and Mike Fisher combined for two shots between them--but also because when they did, Sergei Bobrovsky was there for the Flyers.
Sens Hero: Brian Elliott
Elliott held out just about as long as was possible--and as long as could be expected--but couldn't single-handedly stem the Flyers' attack. He stopped 15 of 17 in the first period to keep the game a lot closer than it should have been, and stopped 41 of 46 shots overall. Sure, he let in five goals, and no, they weren't all unstoppable, but the guy faced forty-six shots.
Sens Zero: Alex Kovalev
Although he got his 999th point tonight, Kovalev had one of his characteristic off-nights. Which is okay, because he's been on for so many games recently that we sort of had to expect he'd have an off-night coming up. It would be nice if he'd stop trying to stickhandle through every opponent on his way out of the defensive zone (those kind of turnovers can be costly) but he's Alex Kovalev.
Sens Zero: Erik Karlsson
Tough game for King Kid. He took a hooking penalty that was necessitated after the linesman ran a good pick on him, and then took a second hooking penalty shortly after getting out of the box from his first. And then he took a third minor, although it was one of the fluky delay-of-game calls. And he was -2 tonight. You kind of expect an undersized defender like Karlsson to struggle against a big, physical team like the Flyers, and those struggles can only be offset by a supportive group of forwards--which Karlsson didn't have tonight.
Sens Killer: Mike Richards
Richards was a factor in all the killer goals tonight. He assisted on the third goal, which built the lead, and then scored the fourth (while short-handed) and fifth to completely take the game out of hand. He was the Flyers' best player tonight.
Sens Killer: Darroll Powe
Powe had one goal tonight--the game-winner--giving him 6P (5G, 1A) in seven career games against the Senators. Compare that to his career stats, 32P (18G, 14A) in 141GP. He's your prototypical Sens Killer.
Living Dangerously: On the powerplay
We all knew if was bound to happen. With the Senators so prone to giving up odd-man breaks or even breakaways while on the powerplay, Elliott was eventually going to blink. And tonight, Richards scored a short-handed goal on a short-handed three-on-one. It'll have to be addressed before it keeps costing Ottawa more than they gain with the man advantage.