A little over six years ago, the Ottawa Senators traded Brian Elliott to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Craig Anderson. Fast forward to now, and Anderson is the winningest goalie in Sens history, surpassing Patrick Lalime for 147 wins in an Ottawa jersey. It was only fitting that he made history against the team that traded him, helping the Sens sweep the road trip and win tonight’s game 4-2.
Coming in on a five game win streak, the Sens picked up right where they left off pouring on the offensive pressure early. That momentum came to a halt, when Chris DiDomenico, playing in his second NHL game at age 28, took a minor penalty for tripping. It was an unfortunate call, as he’s now accumulated six penalty minutes since arriving in the NHL. The Sens would kill it off, and play would continue.
The Avs would strike first halfway through, as recent waiver pick-up Matt Nieto tipped a shot past Craig Anderson to give Colorado the 1-0 lead. Cody Ceci lost his coverage in deep, and was caught puck-watching as Nieto was able to cleanly get the tip.
Viktor Stalberg and Fedor Tyutin would each exchange penalties late in the frame, although neither team could find the back of the net.
Around halfway through the second period, Ottawa began to take over. Poor defensive coverage by the Avalanche left the hot hand Fredrik Claesson wide open, who rifled a shot past Calvin Pickard to tie the game. It was Claesson’s second NHL goal, scoring his first on Wednesday in Dallas.
The tie wouldn’t last for very long. The only man-advantage of the period went to the Senators, who were able to capitalize. Hoffman sent a shot towards the net, and Alex Burrows, in only his sixth game since being acquired, tipped the puck for his fourth goal in the red and white.
Not too long after that, Ottawa would extend their lead to two, with a Mike Hoffman snipe that bounced off of Pickard’s shoulder and into the back of the net. Bang bang bang, the Sens went up 3-1 heading into the final 20 minutes.
Period three needs only two words: The System.
Colorado couldn’t get past the neutral zone, as the Sens had it trapped tighter than a Vancouverite in skinny jeans.
The Sens would make the game 4-1, getting another tip past Calvin Pickard, this time from Ryan Dzingel. The goal broke Dzingel’s eight-game point drought, and also gave another point to Alex Burrows, who sent the shot in from the point.
A series of penalties would give the Sens a brief 5-on-3 which would amount to nothing, and Dzingel would get bloody dropping the gloves with Gabriel Landeskog. Sven Andrighetto would score his first as an Avalanche with 11 seconds to go, although it wouldn’t matter The Sens would sail to the finish line victorious, winning 4-2 to extend their win streak to six games.
Sens Hero: Craig Anderson
As mentioned in the intro, tonight was a huge night for Andy. He’s been in Beast Mode ever since his return, and although he only had to face 16 shots, he kept the door shut. Tonight he solidified himself as the best goalie in Sens history, and we’ve still got him for at least another season. Now only 12 more wins for the playoff record!
Honourable Mention: Karlsson-Claesson-Wideman
With two of Ottawa’s top forwards in Stone and Turris out tonight, the defence stepped up big tonight, in an offensive way. Karlsson picked up two more assists to move him closer to Brent Burns for the defensive scoring lead. Claesson’s blast gives him four points in his last three games. Wideman alone had eight shots on goal, half of the total of the entire Avalanche! It was a big night for all three.
Honourable Mention: Alex Burrows
Will he ever stop scoring? Before being trade, he was on pace for 13 goals. He scored goal #13 tonight, with 15 games left in the season. I highly doubt this is sustainable, but it’s been getting the Sens wins.
Sens Killer: Calvin Pickard
The young netminder made some crucial stops for the Avalanche tonight, including robbing Zack Smith of a surefire goal.
Nice to see Calvin Pickard hasn't thrown the towel in like the rest of his team pic.twitter.com/jTrCMPInTo— Gregory Balloch (@GregBalloch) March 12, 2017
He stopped 27 of 31 shots, and most of the goals allowed were due to the Colorado defence leaving Sens players wide open in front. He was definitely Colorado’s best player of the night.
Coming up: Ottawa takes a two day break, returning home on Tuesday to face the Tampa Bay Lightning. Seven in a row, here we come!