Senators beat Lightning 4-2 after yet another comeback
[Corsi] [Head-to-head] [Zone starts] [Scoring Chances]
For the third straight game, the Ottawa Senators found themselves in a 1-1 game at the second intermission, but unlike the last two games, this time they managed to win the game. An entertaining first period was dominated by Ottawa but ended scoreless after several missed opportunities and passing up on shooting opportunities. The second period was all Tampa Bay and they finally opened the scoring almost 34 minutes into the game, with Bruno Gervais' wrist shot finding the net. Just under three minutes later, Zack Smith tied the game, tipping Jared Cowen's point shot.
Martin St. Louis had given Tampa Bay the lead and the game seemed to be slowly drifting away. Midway through the third period, Paul MacLean put the trio of Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson on the ice. It paid instant dividends, with Alfredsson slamming home his classic slap shot. Alfredsson wasn't done yet. With less than five minutes remaining, Alfredsson won the puck along the boards, passed it to Jesse Winchester and after Alfredsson shot the return pass wide, Nick Foligno put it into the net at the side of the net to give Ottawa its first lead. Zack Smith iced the game with his second goal after a beautiful breakaway pass by Sergei Gonchar.
It wasn't the most exciting game, especially in the second period but the Senators pulled it out. This was the ninth comeback win for Ottawa and the fifth time they have won a game while trailing at some point in the third period. Ottawa not only returns to a playoff spot, but they are also eighth in the eastern conference in terms of points per game.
More analysis after the jump.
Sens Hero: Zack Smith
Zack Smith is Ottawa's third line centre. He's also third on the club in goals with eight and is on pace for 24 goals . What more can you say about him?
Sens Hero: Craig Anderson
After Ottawa dominated the first period but couldn't score, and then fell apart in the second, Anderson kept Ottawa in the game with some excellent saves, including a save on a 4-on-1 rush with Erik Karlsson as the lone defender. Anderson ended with 31 saves on 33 shots. This was the first time Anderson has allowed less than three goals in six games. However, it was also the fifth straight game Anderson has had a save percentage of at least .906 since the Pittsburgh debacle. Anderson also picked up his third assist of the season on Alfredsson's goal.
Sens Hero: Daniel Alfredsson
When his team needed a lift, Alfie provided it. I don't see Ottawa winning this game without Alfie's goal. He also won the puck for the winning goal. It was such a pleasure to hear an "ALFIE! ALFIE!" chant again.
Honourable Mention: Sergei Gonchar, Chris Phillips, David Rundblad
Gonchar and Phillips were Ottawa's best pairing on the night and play a solid game in their own end. Gonchar's pass for the 4-2 goal was just incredible. Phillips had seven blocked shots and four hits. Rundblad was excellent and created several scoring chances for himself and his teammates in only 10:22 of ice time. Some of his moves with the puck are just mesmerising.
Sens Killer: Passing up shooting opportunities
In the first period, Ottawa had excellent puck possession and was moving it around with ease. However, for whatever reason, the Senators passed up a shot for an extra pass that didn't quite work out. It was pretty to watch at times, but not very effective
- Erik Karlsson didn't have a shot on goal for the first time since the season opener in Detroit.
- With three goals tonight, Ottawa now has 41 goals in the third period, the most in the league. That's 1.52 goals per third period. If the Sens scored at that pace in every period, they would have 4.56 goals a game.
- Jason Spezza was 16 for 21 in the face-off circle, Nick Foligno was 1 for 9.
- Chris Neil and Zenon Konopka were the only Ottawa players with a minus rating on the night.
- Bobby Butler played only 2:13 in the third period.