Making noise before puck drop was the news that Marc Methot left the pregame warmup early and wouldn't dress (apparently because of his recent injury), with Jared Cowen drawing back into the lineup in his place. The Senators also took a moment before the game to recognize David Legwand for recently playing in his 1,000 NHL game. Things turned bad when Radim Vrbata broke into the Senators zone early in the period. Chris Phillips ensured he took away the pass to no one option and Vrbata waited out Craig Anderson, deking around the goalie and staking Vancouver to a one goal lead. Things went from bad to worse when Kevin Bieksa's slapshot from the point beat Andy. The quick two-goal deficit was deflating for both the team and fans, but it was essentially just a bad couple of minutes from the Sens. The Senators tightened things up in the second half of the period. Ottawa's best chance of the frame was a late breakaway for Mark Stone, but the speeding winger put the puck wide. Shots 16-11 in favour of Vancouver.
Ottawa started the second period unable to capitalize on a lengthy 5-on-3. Shortly after a Chris Neil-Derek Dorsett fight, Brad Richardson exploited a poor clearing attempt by Chris Phillips and snapped one by Andy. Midway through the period the Sens were gifted a second 5-on-3 advantage and this time they connected. Legwand wristed a rebound by Eddie Lack to get the Sens on the board. A few minutes later, Mika Zibanejad took advantage of a nice backhand pass from Bobby Ryan to enter the Vancouver zone. His wraparound effort succeeded because he banked it off Canuck defender Weber and into the open net. With about a minute left in the period, Zibanejad put the finishing touches on an excellent frame, scoring his second goal of the period with a nice backhand effort to beat Lack. The period ended with the teams tied at three and Ottawa outshooting Vancouver 22-7 in the period. Umm wow.
Ottawa began the third period with two great chances to take the lead. In all alone and facing an open net, Karlsson rang the puck off the post. A couple minutes later Mike Hoffman put the puck just wide despite having all the time in the world. Ottawa continued to press Vancouver but neither team could break through despite both teams getting a chance on the power play. The period ended still tied at three, shots 44-33 in favour of the Senators.
Overtime resolved things fairly quickly. And who else would it be? Ryan sent a pass to Zibanejad who danced through the slot, before feeding Karlsson at the point who managed to send a wrist shot through the traffic in front. Senators win 4-3 in overtime. Shots 45-33 in favour of the Senators.
Sens Hero: Mika Zibanejad
Awesome night for Zibanejad. He was in on all of the Senators goals, with two goals and two assists for the first four point night of his career. While his first goal was quite lucky, his tying goal was a beauty and so was his assist on the game winner. He's quietly picked up his production over the last few games and if this is a sign of things to come, it's great news for the team.
Sens Hero: Erik Karlsson
As good a night as Zibanejad had, Karlsson probably had a better night, he just didn't have the points to show for it. For much of the night he was carrying a minus 2 thanks to a couple blunders by his partner Phillips which the commentators keyed in on. However, Karlsson was dominant through the first two periods and positively amazing in the third. He had 8 shots on target and was pretty much record-setting in terms of shot attempts.
Erik Karlsson's 22 shot-attempts (game still going), I believe, analytics era record. pic.twitter.com/1IfLNHmOZ3— Travis Yost (@TravisHeHateMe) December 8, 2014
He just didn't have any luck until overtime, when he deservedly scored the game-winning goal.
Sens Hero: Bobby Ryan
Ryan's low goal total (he has just five on the year) has distracted some from seeing the other areas of his game that have been going well. In the past few games it's been his playmaking ability and tonight was no different. Despite playing with a broken finger, Ryan had five shots to go with his three assists. Great game for him.
Sens Zero: Chris Phillips
Really tough night for the veteran defenseman. Two big misplays led to two Vancouver goals. There was nowhere for him to hide tonight.
Game Flow via Natural Stat Trick:
Highlights via NHL.com:
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