The 69th game of the season did not have a nice ending for the Ottawa Senators. The Senators were close to picking up at least the point they needed to head to the Atlantic Division summit. But a pair of ill-advised slashing penalties at the end of the game proved to be too much to overcome as Richard Panik scored a power play goal with 3:01 remaining to give Chicago the win.
The Senators had a disappointing loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday but more than held their own in the first period, ending it even on shots at 13-13 and ahead 31-23 on shot attempts. For the third time in four periods, Ottawa failed to score and went into the intermission level at 0-0.
The game tightened up in the second period with fewer scoring chances. With Mark Stone missing and the backup goalie in net, Guy Boucher appeared to have the Senators playing even more defensively than usual and it did work for the first 40 minutes. There were few high end chances although Bobby Ryan did have a fantastic opportunity to score the opening goal but the puck bounced over his stick while all alone and with an empty net to shoot at.
With almost half the third period gone, the game was still scoreless until Duncan Keith's slapshot was stopped by Mike Condon but went off multiple Senators players and back into their own net. The Senators responded soon after though, with Ryan providing a screen and Kyle Turris' shot blowing by Scott Darling on the power play to tie the game at one. Ottawa had tilted the play towards the Chicago end and looked good value for at least a point. However, with 5:45 remaining in the game, Derick Brassard broke John Hayden's stick with a slash. With 23 seconds still remaining on that penalty, Marc Methot broke Marian Hossa's stick to put Ottawa down two men. While Ottawa would kill off the 5-on-3, with about a minute left on Methot's penalty, Patrick Kane made a brilliant pass from behind the net to Panik and the shot gave Condon no time to react.
The Senators did have another late chance to tie the game, but with Ryan having another semi-empty net to shoot at, his stick was tied up and he couldn't get the shot off. The game finished as a frustrating loss for Ottawa, with a chance to go top of the division squandered and ended their run of points in seven straight games.
Sens Hero: Kyle Turris
He scored the only game for Ottawa, and had a great play at the end to give Ryan a chance to tie it again. He had three shots on the night and won 13 out of 18 face-offs.
Honourable Mention: Mike Condon
The Senators actually did a good job defensively and Condon stopped what he should have. Stopping 26 out of 28 shots is always a solid performance in the NHL.
Coming up: The home-and-home with the Canadiens! The Senators are a point back of the Habs with a game in hand. The two clubs will play on Saturday and Sunday this weekend and again on the Saturday the following weekend.