With 12 wins in their last 13 games, not many people thought the New Jersey Devils would have much trouble with the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. But they did. Ottawa played a grinding, defensive, gritty game, and, with some massive support from Craig Anderson, were able to outlast the Devils and win the game by a 2-1 final score.
Anderson and Jason Spezza were huge in the win, but Erik Condra led the way offensively for the Sens, scoring both goals and showing a good nose for the net in the process. He wasn't on many lists at the start of the season as a potential game-breaker for the Senators, but with his second two-goal game in as many weeks, he might turn into a decent producer in this league.
Sens Hero: Jason Spezza
Condra provided the goal scoring, but Spezza did just about everything else. He led Senators forwards with 20:45 TOI, including 1:30 while short-handed, and won ten of 20 faceoffs he took. I'd be interested in seeing the advanced stats for Spezza, because I have a feeling he scored highly on them.
Sens Hero: Erik Condra
Of course, AnaCondra was a hero tonight. His first goal was amazing: After Ryan Shannon beat out an icing call, he fed the puck to Condra, who did a (perhaps superfluous) spin, chopped the puck at the net, then knocked it out of mid-air while in mid-air to put it past Martin Brodeur. His second goal was pedestrian by comparison, just a simple tip-in past one of the best goaltenders in league history. He is now tied for seventh in goal scoring among active players on the Sens roster.
Sens Hero: Chris Phillips
Another very, very good game for Big Game Chris. He and Brian Lee (seriously, that's our shutdown pairing) kept Ilya Kovalchuk off the scoresheet, which was no small task. He played a game-high 24:27 TOI, including 2:31 while short-handed, and it seems unfair that he finished the game minus-1 considering his effort. He even put up an assist.
Sens Hero: Penalty killers
Man, Ottawa's penalty killers just keep on going. They've killed off 32 straight powerplays over nine games, and all of those games have been without penalty killers like Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Kelly, or Jarkko Ruutu--former key members of the PK. Credit now has to go to Anderson--of course--as well as Spezza, Shannon, Phillips, and Zack Smith for really stepping up while down a man.