The Ottawa Senators stumbled with a trio of poor performances in California, so a good start against Phoenix was critical. The Senators did not disappoint with their effort in the opening frame, outshooting the Coyotes 12 to 4 and carrying the play despite taking two penalties to Phoenix's one. In particular, the newly united trio of MacArthur-Turris-Ryan dominated possession while they were out there, and never seemed to leave the ice.
Of course, this is the 2013-2014 Ottawa Senators, so the positivity did not last long. Within the first three minutes of the second period, the Coyotes had scored two goals, both occurring just seconds after a face-off in the Senators' zone. The Coyotes were the better team during the second period, with 17 shots to Ottawa's 11. The Senators did manage to get one on the board midway through the period, as Patrick Wiercioch dangled his way into the Phoenix zone, creating a scramble that resulted in Jason Spezza poking in a rebound.
The Senators got a rare lucky bounce to start the third period, as Coyotes goalie Mike Smith panicked after nearly playing the puck in the forbidden zone and turned it over to Colin Greening, who fed an open Jason Spezza to make the game even at 2. Spezza wasn't content with just two goals, though, so he made it a natural hat trick with a rocket from the half boards, giving the Senators their first lead of the game.
The lead would be blown with just minutes left to play as Chris Phillips took an interference penalty that resulted in an Ekman-Larsson powerplay goal, a tie game, and the need for overtime to determine the winner.
Phoenix looked to be the better team in overtime but all it takes is one good play, and Marc Methot made a beautiful cross-ice pass to give Cory Conacher an open net, and Conacher buried the puck to give the Senators a much needed win.
Sens Hero: Jason Spezza
Down 2-0 on the road, Jason Spezza took matters into his own hands and scored a natural hat trick. It was a hell of a solo effort, and something this Senators team needed after a pretty terrible string of recent games.
Sens Hero: Cory Conacher
Conacher got moved up a line to play with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek tonight, and it proved to be a wise move. Not only did the MacArthur-Turris-Ryan trio click instantly, but Conacher had a gem of a game, causing havoc in front of the net and getting the OT winner.
Honourable Mention: Craig Anderson
Andy probably won't be happy letting in 3 goals and finishing with just a .919 save percentage, but he came up huge late in the game when he was needed. No save was bigger than the 2-on-1 stop in overtime, which allowed the Senators to hold on and win the game.
The Senators still gave up 34 shots in regulation (37 including OT), which is far too many. While Jason Spezza was 60% in the face-off circle tonight, Jean-Gabriel Pageau was just 29% and Zack Smith a putrid 21%. Matt Kassian played only 3:46, and Patrick Wiercioch trailed all other defenders with a paltry 12:44 TOI, while Erik Karlsson was the only player on either team to eclipse 30 minutes on the ice.