Is it a bit premature to give Curtis McElhinney the nickname "MiracElhinney"? Given that he's played one game in a Senators uniform, definitely. But his 34-save effort in the Ottawa Senators' 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning was a lot better than most people expected of him, so maybe I can be forgiven for a little over-the-top excitement.
The game started well, with Jason Spezza converting on the Senators first powerplay of the game, and less than a minute into the second, Bobby Butler tucked a puck past Dwayne Roloson to give Ottawa a 2-0 lead. Tampa had a monstrous final frame, firing 20 shots at McElhinney, but only one puck snuck past him and the Senators held on (barely) for the 2-1 win.
Sens Hero: Jason Spezza
Unreal. Spezza played 25:13 TOI tonight, far and away a season-high, and more than any other skater tonight--forwards or defencemen. He had the opening goal, four shots on goal, and won 13 of 22 faceoffs he took. Every game, night in and night out, this guy seems to continue gaining more responsibility on this team--and every time, he seems to respond to it by stepping up his game once more.
Sens Hero: Curtis McElhinney
I mentioned it above, but McElhinney was a lot more solid tonight than just about anyone expected. It actually looked like he was going to get his third career shutout (which is a pretty amazing stat, considering it was only his 16th career start), but that was spoiled by Martin St. Louis early in the third. Still, he stopped 34 of 35 shots, and looked like a competent component of the Ottawa Senators suddenly game-stealing goaltending duo.\
Sens Zero: Nick Foligno
Not to be too hard on Foligno, but he did next to nothing tonight. Played 14:28 TOI, and had zero shots on net. Maybe some of that has to do with the fact that he's still playing on the third line (with Chris Neil and Zack Smith), but when a guy like Foligno stays down on the third line despite the injuries and trades that have happened on this line, it's not because he's playing well. With the amount of ice time Foligno's getting, especially the powerplay time, he's going to be asked to contribute a bit more than he is.
Bolts Zero: Dwayne Roloson
Maybe it's just me, but it sure looked like Roloson was fighting the puck tonight. Stopping 20 of 22 shots isn't too bad, granted, but it looked like he was going down early on most shots, and just wasn't tip-top. It was the kind of goaltending that costs teams playoff games, which has to concern Tampa right now.
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