Nordiques top Senators 4-3 in overtime
The streak is over.
First Period: A tale of two periods. Just over a minute in, Cory Conacher took a tripping minor on Cory Sarich. Colorado struck quickly, with former Ottawa 67 Jamie McGinn tipping an Erik Johnson slapshot past Craig Anderson. Under three minutes later Jan Hejda ripped a slapshot past Anderson to give the Senators their trademark 2-0 deficit. Colorado dominated for another five minutes with Ottawa seemingly unable to keep up.
That's when things changed. After the ten minute mark, Ottawa took over. Colorado was unable to generate a single shot on goal from the midway point of the first period onward. The Senators' pressure resulted in a goal from Clarke MacArthur, giving him a four-game goal streak. The Senators finished the period having generated 70% of the shot attempts, something unfathomable after the first ten minutes of dominance by the Avalanche.
Second Period: The second period didn't have quite the momentum shift of the first. Ottawa still controlled the majority of the play, led particularly by Erik Karlsson who was a shot attempt machine. Tyson Barrie's tripping minor early in the period gave the Senators one of their most deadly-looking power plays in a long while, although there were no goals despite two posts and even more chances. Later in the period, a unicorn was spotted: the Ottawa Senators scored a 5-on-3 goal. For real. No lie. A beautiful cross-crease pass by Clarke MacArthur to Jason Spezza and the captain scores in his first game back.
Just seconds after the expiration of the second penalty, Mark Stone passes to Kyle Turris and a split-second later Ottawa has climbed back from a 2-0 deficit to lead 3-2.
Third Period: The first half of the third period was spent primarily in the Colorado zone. More pressure and more posts for Ottawa was the story. Things evened out in the second half but the score stayed the same. The Avalanche thought they'd scored with under three minutes to go but it was waved off, only to get the puck down the ice again for another chance. The combination of Landeskog and Stastny was too much to handle and suddenly it's 3-3.
Overtime: Colorado controlled the play for all 32 seconds of overtime before Erik Karlsson broke his stick and Tyson Barrie scored.
TL;DR: Senators come back from down 2-0 and hit a lot of posts. Then Colorado tied it and won in overtime.
Were the Senators down 2-0? Yes.
Sens Hero: Erik Karlsson
Far and away the best player on either side of the ice. Truly amazing game for Karlsson with two assists and 13 shot attempts.
Sens Hero: Clarke MacArthur
Goal, assist, and continued a four-game goal streak. MacArthur has been red hot and was again one of the best Senators out there.
Sens Zero: Craig Anderson
Two goals allowed in the first five minutes brought back nightmares of the first half of the season. Did all he could at the end of the game but ultimately it's another four goal game for Anderson.
Sens Zero: Jared Cowen
One hand on the top of the net and lazy stick waving on the winning goal. Why is Patrick Wiercioch being scratched for Cowen?
Avalanche Hero: Semyon Varlamov
He got some help from the posts, but you have to be good to be lucky, as the saying goes. Varlamov was sharp and took more pucks off the shoulder than most goalies do in a week.
Avalanche Hero: Gabriel Landeskog
Three assists and very present all night long.
NHL Game Killer: Referees
They were awful. It was like a playoff game out there.
Closing Thought: Ottawa played an outstanding game but was let down by the 5-minute bookends. They deserved better. Colorado hung on for dear life and took advantage of their opportunities.
Second Closing Thought: Free Patrick Wiercioch. Unfree Jared Cowen.