Things got underway between the Senators and Red Wings with an early Colin Greening penalty. Fortunately for Greening his teammates were able to kill off his penalty, though the Wings has a few good chances to score. Jared Cowen rang a slapshot off the post after a great effort from Mike Hoffman to gain the Detroit zone and Erik Condra had a nice scoring chance. Midway through the period a Cowen defensive zone error created a good chance for Tomas Jurco, but Craig Anderson was up to task.
The Senators got on the board with six minutes left in the period, when a cycle along the boards between Mika Zibanejad, Hoffman, and Bobby Ryan led to a Mark Borowiecki slapshot from the point. With Zibanejad acting as a screen in front, the Boro shot handcuffed Jimmy Howard, who bobbled the puck, allowing Hoffman to pounce on the rebound. A few seconds later, a Tomas Tatar penalty sent the Senators to the power play for the first time. The Sens didn't score, but moved the puck well and had a few chances on the Detroit net.
What had been a relatively successful period for the Senators was disrupted when Justin Abdelkader scored with 13 seconds left in the period to tie things up at one. The Sens had been in good shape, but got hemmed in their own zone with the Datsyuk line on the ice. Alex Chiasson could grab the puck away from Datsyuk along the boards, leading to a Detroit shot. Anderson pushed the shot wide, even though it wasn't going to be on target and it took a weird bounce off the end boards. Andy typically has problems moving across his crease and again was slow moving through the blue paint. However, both Cowen and Cody Ceci couldn't contain Justin Abdelkader in front of the net, and the Wings forward banked the puck in off the Ottawa goalie. Period finished tied at one. Shots 10-6 in favour of Ottawa.
The Senators started the second period with a good shift and drew a penalty. The early power play threatened, but couldn't break through. 30 seconds later, Alex Chiasson took a high sticking penalty, sending the potent Red Wings power play to the ice. The Wings had several great chances, but Andy turned aside all attempts. The game remained tied until Clarke MacArthur broke his cold streak. With about seven minutes left to play in the period, Kyle Turris sent a pass in front of the Detroit net. It deflected off Detroit defenseman Danny DeKeyser right to MacArthur. The winger snapped a one timer that beat Howard, for Mac's first goal since November 16. Ottawa continued to pressure after the goal and Greening drew a late penalty trying to tip the puck in front of the Detroit net. Again, the Senators generated chances, but couldn't score with the man advantage. It was another strong period for the Senators, made better by the fact that Ottawa carried its one goal lead into the second intermission. Shots in the second period 15-7 in favour of the Senators.
Four minutes into the third period, Mark Borowiecki took a needless interference penalty on Johan Franzen, sending Detroit back to the power play. Detroit wasted no time capitalizing on the mistake, as Henrik Zetterberg scored three seconds into the power play, tying the game at two. A Jonathan Ericsson penalty minutes later gave Ottawa a chance to retake the lead. Unfortunately the best chance of the power play was from Darren Helm, who stripped Erik Karlsson of the puck at the Senators blueline. Helm had a terrific shorthanded breakaway chance but was positively robbed by Craig Anderson. The "captain" (as some refer to him as) needs to be aware that's Helm there and that the Detroit forward is speedy and dangerous on the penalty kill, but it was also an excellent stick check from Helm and most of the credit should go to him. Despite a few opportunities on the power play, Ottawa couldn't retake the lead and the period ended in a tie. Shots 11-7 in favour of Detroit.
Overtime started 3-on-3 because of offsetting third period penalties and set the tone for the rest of the frame. It was free-flowing and the skill and speed of Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman was on full display. Both players had breakaways which could have ended the game but were robbed by Howard. After a panicked and weak clearing attempt from Cody Ceci, Gustav Nyquist danced in the Ottawa zone with the puck for almost 30 seconds before snipping the game winner. Detroit wins 3-2 in overtime. Shots 33-27 in favour of Ottawa.
Sens Hero: Mike Hoffman
Hoffman scored the first goal for the Senators and generated a few scoring chances for his teammates. He was strong carrying the puck through the neutral zone and on the forecheck. He was awesome in overtime, with a breakaway and backcheck that took your breath away.
Honourable Mention: Clarke MacArthur
MacArthur scored his first goal in a month and a half, which merits a mention. However, after he broke his futility streak he was a lot more dangerous, setting up Mark Stone for an excellent scoring opportunity late in regulation. He also had Nyquist contained for about 25 seconds of 30 second rampage, before Cowen took over.
Honourable Mention: Craig Anderson
While he was solid through the first two periods, Anderson made a number of excellent saves, including two shorthanded breakaways, in the third to keep the game tied. He carried that strong play into overtime. He only had an 88.9 SV% on the night but he gave the Senators a chance to win.
Dishonourable Mention: Mark Borowiecki
Borowiecki took an obvious and needless penalty early in the third period which allowed the Wings to tie things up. It was yet another example of Borowiecki making a physical play when one wasn't called for. He has to know that his partner is Karlsson and that the captain is always going to win a foot race against the opposite of speedy, Johan Franzen. By forcing the physical game, Boro once again hurt his team.
Sens Zeroes: Cody Ceci and Jared Cowen
The pair had a few miscues in their own end tonight. They failed to tie up Abdelkader which resulted in Detroit's first goal and both made mistakes (Ceci's initiated the sequence) on Nyquist's 30 seconds of domination before the OT winner. Ceci's weak clearance was bad and Cowen looked lost after taking over checking responsibilities from MacArthur. Cowen backed off Nyquist and gave him the space to score. This pairing has more issues than generally gets talked about.
Sens Zero: The Power Play
Both PP units looked dangerous at times tonight and both units moved the puck well. However, Ottawa went 0-5 with the man advantage tonight and that made a difference in a game they dominated for large stretches.
Sens Killer: Pavel Datsyuk
While he only got credit for an assist on Detroit's second goal, he was integral on both of Detroit's first two scoring plays. He won the draw and kept the puck pinned in Ottawa's zone on the Wings' first goal and his quick faceoff win on the second scoring play was critical on the equalizer.
Sens Killer: Jimmy Howard
The Senators dominated for two periods and deserved the win, but Howard had other ideas. He stopped 31 of 33 Ottawa shots tonight, good enough for a 93.9 SV%.
Sens Killer: Gustav Nyquist
Watch the last 30 seconds of the game. Amazing. Seriously, watch it.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>GIF: ready to see the most ridiculous goal ever? do you have at least 30 seconds to watch? here is Nyquist OT winner <a href="http://t.co/HLqXN8IQhY">http://t.co/HLqXN8IQhY</a></p>— Steph (@myregularface) <a href="https://twitter.com/myregularface/status/549035678433288193">December 28, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Shot Chart via ESPN:
Game Flow via Natural Stat Trick:
Highlights via NHL.com: