That was a pretty poor effort from the Ottawa Senators on all counts. The defence was making terrible mistakes, the forwards weren't generating much until score effects kicked in and Craig Anderson was fighting the puck a little bit at times. The Senators lost 2-1, but really the margin should have been much larger.
The Ducks started well and scored 7:35 into the first period when Marc Methot scored into his own net, with the goal being given to Patrick Maroon. That play was a good summary of the Senators performance the rest of the night. Chris Neil was unfortunate to get called for goaltending interference after being pushed into the net by the Ducks. Sometimes you have to bite those for employing a player like Neil. Fortunately for the Senators, they managed to kill that off. Late in the period, Erik Karlsson lost the puck right in front of his net and Ryan Getzlaf put home the loose puck to make it a 2-0 game. Erik Condra was called for tripping shortly after, but the Ducks took a penalty on the power play to negate that.
Ottawa got back into the game midway through the second period. First Mika Zibanejad drew a penalty and then midway through the resulting power play, he fired a slap-shot by Frederik Andersen to make it a one goal game. Unfortunately, seven seconds after that Chris Neil decided it is a good idea to cross check someone in the face in front of the referee. That started a sequence where Ottawa would spend 6:00 of the next 6:53 on the penalty kill after Eric Gryba was forced to take a penalty while killing Neil's penalty. Gryba would take another penalty after being stripped of the puck by Corey Perry. The Senators killed all the penalties and went into the intermission down only a goal despite playing almost 23% of the first two periods shorthanded.
With the Ducks sitting back, Ottawa had some chances to tie the game in the third, with a couple of Bobby Ryan shots coming very close. Ottawa had 12 shots on goal in the third period, but could not score. In the end the 2-1 score and the 28-27 advantage in shots for the Ducks flattered the Senators. It was a pretty disappointing performance and it is not going to get any easier with the Sharks and Blackhawks coming up.
Sens Hero: Mika Zibanejad
He was one of the few players that had a good game. He scored the only goal for Ottawa on a power play that he drew himself. He had another chance point blank early in the first period and was tied with Clarke MacArthur and Corey Perry with a game high four shots on goal. He finished the game on the wing with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek.
Sens Zero: Paul MacLean
Yes Chris Neil continues to take absurdly stupid penalties this season, but at some point you have to question the coach. There really are no consequences to Neil's actions. Players make mistakes, they lose the puck or turn it over, it happens. But to cross-check a guy in the face right after you score a goal? Neil didn't play for the rest of the period, but proceeded to play over six minutes in the final period, including in the final 30 seconds.
Since Paul MacLean has arrived, Ottawa had the third highest shorthanded time in 2011/2012, fifth highest in 2013 and the highest this season. We give the coach the credit when the changes he makes work out, but most of his line juggling was a mess tonight and his team was not prepared to play a team playing its third game in four nights with a goaltender making his first career start.
Shot Chart (from ESPN)