Ottawa Senators Outshoot Arizona Coyotes, Still Lose
The Sens applied a lot of pressure but couldn't get the win.
The Ottawa Senators have had a few games this season in which they've been thoroughly outshot, and yet manage to squeak out a win. This game was the complete opposite. The Sens doubled the Coyotes in shots, but couldn't overcome an impressive goaltending display.
The game started poorly for Ottawa, with Mikkel Boedker scoring his first of three on the night just 38 seconds in. The play seemed harmless enough, but Craig Anderson didn't seem to ever see the shot and it beat him.
The rest of the first period was all Ottawa, to the tune of the final shots being 18-4 for Ottawa. Unfortunately for the Sens, only one of those shots beat Anders Lindback, a beauty of a play between Bobby Ryan and Mike Hoffman. Ryan snapped a quick pass out to Hoffman in the slot, who showed off his quick release to beat Lindback. The Sens would get a few more chances in the first, especially the first line, but no one could score. The first period ended with Ottawa carrying all the momentum.
The second period started very similarly to the first, with Boedker scoring just 41 seconds in. On the play, I have no idea what Anderson was doing. He lay on his back and spread his arms, but seemed to do the whole thing in slow motion. It seemed like something a goalie would do in an All-Star Game, except that this was a tie game that the Sens would really have used a win in.
Unlike the first, the Coyotes would get the next goal too. After a pretty decent powerplay by Ottawa, a brutal giveaway by Erik Karlsson just as the penalty expired allowed Tobias Rieder to hit Dustin Jeffrey fresh out of the box with the breakaway pass. He beat Anderson five-hole, and suddenly Ottawa's momentum appeared to have evaporated.
Just as it was looking like another period of mostly Sens pressure would be all for naught, the Coyotes inexplicably left Mike Hoffman open on a late powerplay. He walked in and ripped home a hard shot. After all the posts he had to start the year, we knew Hoffman was going to start scoring eventually. He now has five goals in his last four games, and six in his last six. And so the second came to an end with the Sens down one, but with the game still pretty firmly in their grasp.
The teams mostly traded chances in the third, the kind of high-event hockey that can either let the losing team in or let the leading team run away with it. Lindback turned away a number of quality chances, and his post turned away one notable shot from Karlsson, before a Boedker goal off a Max Domi rebound essentially sealed the game. After spending most of the period thinking the Sens were one away from getting back into it, this felt like a dagger.
To their credit, the Sens didn't quit. Mark Stone would get a weird goal just over a minute later that hit Lindback in the shoulder, then bounced about six feet in the air before dropping into the net behind him. The Sens would pour it on more for the final few minutes, even pulling Anderson, but couldn't get the tying goal. So for the second and final time this season, the Sens lost to the Coyotes. This had to sting, especially after beating the Stars earlier on the same road trip. Final score: Sens 3, Coyotes 4.
Sens Hero: Mike Hoffman
The Hoff had two goals tonight. Not much more you can say to show how important he was to the win.
Sens Zero: Craig Anderson
Maybe Andy's just tried. It's been a long road trip, and he's played a bunch of games in a row. Some say that the stats show he gets worse if he plays too many games in a season. I doubt the Sens would've won in Dallas without him in net, and maybe not in Colorado either, but at some point you've got to rest your starter if fatigue is going to set in. The first goal Andy seemed unfocused, the second is just as bizarre on the seventh watch, and the fourth involved some poor rebound control. The team needed an average goaltending performance tonight to win, and they didn't get it.
Sens Killer: Mikkel Boedker
Boedker has nine goals this season, six of them against the Sens. What?
Sens Killer: Anders Lindback
This is the same Lindback who let the Lightning get swept by the Canadiens in the playoffs a couple years ago. He has three wins this season, two of them against the Sens. What?
Seriously, think about that. Boedker has two-thirds of his goals against Ottawa, and Lindback has two-thirds of his wins.
Sens Zero: Corsi
Ottawa didn't have a single player under 50% Corsi at even strength tonight. Guess this whole possession thing is just a myth, just like global warming since winter still happens.
Game Flow (aka moderate ski slope):