Blackhawks Top Senators in Shootout, Win 5-4

A recap of tonight's game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators

After a moving ceremonial faceoff featuring Senators GM Bryan Murray, assistant coach Mark Reeds, and local celebrity Max Keeping - all currently fighting cancer - the Sens started the first period with a lot of jump. Ottawa took an early lead when the team's young players showed some offensive flare. An outlet pass from Cody Ceci to Mark Stone was quickly moved along to Curtis Lazar, who's shot was tipped by Mark Stone past Chicago goalkeeper Scott Darling less than three minutes into the game.

Midway through the period Marian Hossa threw a puck at the Ottawa net and Craig Anderson was unable to cover the rebound before Hawks captain Jonathan Toews slid the puck over the goal line to tie things at one. Ottawa's trial kid line (Curtis Lazar, Mike Hoffman, and Mark Stone) responded with an entertaining shift in Chicago's end, including two excellent chances for Hoffman. A few minutes later, a Kris Versteeg breakaway was cut down by Erik Karlsson, but after Chris Phillips failed to clear the loose puck, the Chicago winger beat Karlsson on his second chance and gave Chicago the lead. It felt like Ottawa had a strong period, but the Sens were outshot 15-6.

Chicago started the second period just a sluggish as the first, sending the Senators to the power play a minute into the period. After an excellent shorthanded chance by Hossa was stopped by Anderson, Clarke MacArthur tied things up with a strong lateral move to the net, pushing the puck past Darling. It was a good period for the Senators, as much of the play was in the Chicago end but unfortunately couldn't get another goal. Shots 12-11 in favour of Chicago.

Just like the two previous periods, Ottawa started the third period strong. Bobby Ryan gave the Sens a one-goal lead 30 seconds into the period. While the top line did create some pressure, Ryan capitalized on a sloppy Brian Bickell giveaway in the slot to make it 3-2. Chicago equalized midway through the period on Toews' second goal of the game.

In the later stages of the period, Marian Hossa gave the Hawks a 4-3 lead with a goal, his second point of the game, and the 1000th of his Hall of Fame career.

It was starting to look like the Sens would get nothing from a well-played game against one of the league's best teams when Mika Zibanejad, still without a point this season, equalized for the Sens. It was his first goal of the year and ultimately sent the game to overtime.

Overtime solved nothing, though the Sens did kill a late Chicago power play and the game went to a shootout. Ottawa's shooters (Kyle Turris, Alex Chiasson, and Ryan) could not score and Chicago's Patrick Sharp went top shelf on Andy to give Chicago the win. Final shots: 39-32 in favour of Chicago.

Sens Hero: Clarke MacArthur

MacArthur had a nice game at both ends of the ice, had four shots, and scored a key goal, his fifth of the year. He's had a hot start to the season and hopefully it continues.

Sens Hero: Penalty Kill

Chicago had five power plays and 39 shots on the night, but couldn't register a goal on any of its opportunities. It's not a pattern to keep repeating, but the Sens penalty kill was great tonight.

Honourable Mention: Mika Zibanejad

Offensively, Zibanejad has had a tough start to the season. Paired with Ryan and Chiasson for much of the season, things haven't exactly clicked. Zibanejad had one of his better games of the season tonight, with five shots and his first goal of the season and secured a point for his team.

Honourable Mention: Mike Hoffman, Curtis Lazar, Mark Stone

While they didn't get much playing time in the third (partly due to Ottawa's power play time in that period) the kid line hummed for the first two periods, generating much of Ottawa's offensive chances. Lazar and Stone also excelled on the penalty kill. I'd love to see more of this combo.

Dishonourable Mention: Erik Karlsson

The captain had a tough night. While his play at both ends of the ice, including an assist on Zibanejad's tying goal, in the third period slightly redeemed his night, Karlsson needs to play better. He made several key defensive errors in the first two periods, none more glaring than on the Hawks second goal.

Sens Killer: Jonathan Toews

Two goals, three shots, and efficient in the faceoff circle. Glad we don't have to face him until next season.

Sens Killer: Marian Hossa

The former Senator was a threat all over the ice tonight. His late goal looked to be the winner and he had two points and five shots on the night.

Career Milestone: Marian Hossa

With his third period goal, Hossa notched the 1000th point of his career. A great achievement for one of the most popular Senators of all time. Congrats, Marian!

Shot chart via ESPN:

Game flow courtesy of Natural Stat Trick:

B_T's Donut:

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