Senators hang on, defeat Flames 5-4 in Shootout

A recap of tonight's game between the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators

After more than six weeks on the shelf, Craig Anderson is finally back. Andrew Hammond's been hot, but Dave Cameron elected to give him a rest and get the veteran Anderson, who's having one of the best seasons on his career, back in the crease. The Sens started with some jump, pressuring the Flames in their own end and had an early opportunity on the power play after Johnny Gaudreau tripped up Erik Karlsson. Unfortunately, the best chance of the man advantage went to Calgary's Jooris, who went in all alone only to be denied by Anderson with a huge save. Ottawa struck first at the 12 minute mark, when Alex Chiasson took a feed from David Legwand and wristed it into an open net past Calgary netminder Kari Ramo for his 10th on the season. The Sens continued to press after the Chiasson goal and were reward in the dying seconds of the period as Milan Michalek beat an unsuspecting Ramo after an excellent behind the net pass from Mark Stone with seven seconds left. The period ended with the Sens up, 2-0, and shots 15-10 in favour of Ottawa.

The Senators picked up where they left off to start the second. After an excellent cycle and several scoring chances for the third line of Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Erik Condra, and Curtis Lazar, the puck went back to the point. A Mark Borowiecki slapshot beat Ramo to give the physical defenseman his first goal of the season. Ottawa killed off a Kyle Turris penalty which included a few nice saves from Craig Anderson and a stinger of a shot block from Boro. Back at even strength, Ottawa return to the level of pressure they maintained for most of the game to that point. A nice play off the draw helped created a chance for Mike Hoffman who wasted no time in collecting his 24th goal of the season. After Ottawa's fourth goal, Calgary made a change in goal. Jonas Hiller was quickly tested, but was able to turn aside a Condra breakaway. Calgary had more jump in the second half of the period and a few good chances but Andy was up to the task. After two periods, Ottawa led 4-0, shots 16-11 in favour of the Sens in the period.

The third period began with an excellent chance for Mike Hoffman but he was denied by an awesome save from Hiller. Andy's shutout bid was broken midway through the period when Joe Colborne's shot took a weird bounce and beat the Ottawa netminder. A Matt Puempel interference penalty gave Calgary a power play and the Flames blitzed the Sens. Anderson stood tall, but just as the penalty was about to expire, a Kris Russell slapshot deflected off Eric Gryba right in front of Andy for Calgary's second goal. It was a frantic penalty kill from the Senators and the poor defense continued after the goal. Less than a minute later, Calgary got within one when Mikael Backlund scored. Andy never got set on the play and probably wants that one back. The seemingly improbable comeback was complete when Russell scored his second of the game with two minutes left in the third. What started as score effects, ended in total domination by the Flames. The period finished tied at four, shots 24-9 in favour of the Flames.

Overtime featured chances for both teams, but solved nothing. After Johnny Gaudreau undressed Anderson for a goal in the shutout, Turris answered to keep the Sens in it. Erik Karlsson scored the winner to secure what once looked like an inevitable win 5-4 in the shootout. Shots 46-42 in favour of Calgary.

Sens Heroes: Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Erik Condra, Curtis Lazar

This line was buzzing all night. While only Condra got credit with an assist on the play, the trio's work in front of Ramo to start the second period led to Ottawa's third goal. They had several scoring chances and Pageau in particular looked dangerous all night. This line has made such a difference during this winning streak.

Sens Hero: Mike Hoffman

Another great performance from the rookie. A force all night, Hoffman had a goal, was positively robbed by Hiller to start the third period and had 5 shots on goal.

Honourable Mention: Mark Borowiecki

Boro delivered on the things management wants him to deliver on: some nice defensive plays, especially on the kill, 3 bocks, 2 hits, and one fight. Oh yeah, and he scored a big goal because it essentially put the game out of reach. Along with partner Eric Gryba was overworked in the third period for no clear reason and at times looked overmatched. It wasn't a flawless performance, but it was pretty much gravy from a third-pairing blueliner.

Sens Mention: Craig Anderson

It was a weird game from Andy. Wasn't at fault for a couple goals, probably wants at least one back. He looked solid through two periods, but the rust was apparent in the third. Some shaky positioning, he had trouble getting set, and gave out many many juicy rebounds. However, made about half a dozen great saves in the same frame and faced a ridiculous 24 shots in the period. Mostly, it looked like the performance you would expect from a goalie who hasn't seen game action since mid-January.

Sens Killer: Kris Russell

His first goal was devastating as it came at the end of a desperate penalty kill and made things interesting. His second goal was equally devastating as it tied things up late in the third.

Sens Killer: Jonas Hiller

Subbed in midway through the second period with Ottawa up by four, he shut the door several times to keep the Flames in it, most notably on Condra and Hoffman. He made 19 saves without giving up a goal and was a big reason this game went to OT.

Shot chart via ESPN:

Game Flow via Natural Stat Trick:

Highlights via

Who should start against Boston?

Craig Anderson104
Andrew Hammond191
Not sure42

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