Senators Dominate Shot Count, Caps Win on Scoreboard, 2-1
A recap of tonight's game between the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals.
In a battle of capital cities, Ottawa had an early chance to take the lead. Two quick penalties in succession by the Capitals gave the Senators the man advantage. Ottawa looked dangerous on the first opportunity, with Erik Karlsson setting up Clarke MacArthur for a one timer only to be robbed by Caps goalie Braden Holtby. The second PP unit (featuring David Legwand) was a bit slow to get going during the second chance, but Bobby Ryan and Alex Chiasson had excellent opportunities to give Ottawa the lead. Unfortunately, Holtby was up to the challenge again. After the Sens failed, the Caps got their opportunities. First, Erik Condra went to the box but the Sens, and especially Craig Anderson, killed off the penalty. After avoiding a roughing/boarding penalty along the boards, Mark Borowiecki managed to take a roughing penalty in front of the Sens net for tangling with Brooks Laich. Milan Michalek sent a backhand over the glass and the Caps had a 5-on-3 advantage for more than a minute. Washington didn't breakthrough in large part due to a shot block by Pageau. The period finished tied at zeroes. Shots 14-6 in favour of Ottawa.
Much of the first half of the second period was spent in the Ottawa zone, as the Sens had difficulty moving the puck through the neutral zone and maintaining any sort of offensive pressure. Ottawa spent more time in the Washington zone in the second half of the period, starting with a nice shift from the Zibanejad line. With six minutes left in the second period, Jay Beagle was sprung by Evgeny Kuznetsov. The puck was bouncing, Cowen didn't exactly take the body or the puck and in his attempt to avoid a penalty opted to flail at the puck. Beagle got a weak shot away that trickled five-hole on Andy, who probably wants that one back. The lead was short-lived, however, as Erik Condra broke into the Washington zone a couple of minutes later and beat Holtby with a wrist shot. A late penalty by Eric Gryba sent the Caps to the power play and Nicklas Backstrom snapped a shot top corner on Andy. The period ended with the Caps leading 2-1, shots 24-16 in favour of the Senators.
Beagle took a tripping penalty early in the third, giving the Sens a great opportunity to tie things up. Ottawa couldn't break through on the power play and pressured the Caps for much of the period. The Barry Trotz-led team defended their lead as Ottawa pressed for an equalizer. With Anderson pulled for the final two minutes of the third, Ottawa was buzzing in the Caps zone but Holtby was equal to the task. The Sens deserved better given their effort, but unfortunately the score remained 2-1 for Washington. While you want to go into any break with a win, this was a good effort from Ottawa. Shots 39-23 in favour of the Senators.
Sens Hero: Erik Condra
Condra scored a goal, his second in as many games, was involved physically, blocked a shot, and helped create a couple of offensive chances. He's goal was the result of his own strong forecheck and takeaway. He's getting more of a chance under Dave Cameron and he's making the most of it.
Sens Killer: Brayden Holtby
Holtby was a difference maker for the Caps tonight. He positively robbed MacArthur in the first, made several highlight reel saves and stopped 38 of 39 shots on the night. He's the reason Washington won.
Shot Chart via ESPN:
Game Flow via Natural Stat Trick:
Highlights via NHL.com: