Senators snag 3-1 win over Red Wings

The Ottawa Senators dominated the first period of their game against the Detroit Red Wings, but gave up the edge in momentum through the second and third--in the end, though, they were able to hold on for a 3-1 victory.

After an uninspired effort against the injury-plagued Boston Bruins, the Ottawa Senators were looking to bounce back against the Detroit Red Wings and get at least a couple of points during their tough three-game homestand. Thanks to some strong goaltending from Craig Anderson as well as a great effort from just about everyone in the lineup, they got what they needed: A much-needed win in an important divisional matchup.

The first period went as well as any has this season, and was probably Ottawa's best 20 minutes of the year. They controlled the play for the vast majority of the frame, generating a few great scoring chances (especially from Bobby Ryan, Clarke MacArthur, and Mike Hoffman) and drawing a couple solid penalties (actually, Hoffman drew both of them, but the team benefited). The Sens outshot the Wings 16-2, and if not for Jimmy Howard's heroics Ottawa might have been up by a couple of goals.

Ottawa's momentum continued into the second, and it looked like they'd finally taken the lead when Wings defender Brendan Smith crashed into Howard and Kyle Turris had an open net to shoot into, but the ref determined after the fact that somehow in the split-second of time between the collision and the puck going in the net that he intended to blow the play dead. Howard was down for a moment and it looked like he suffered an injury, but he stayed in the game.

Play continued and Erik Karlsson took Ottawa's first penalty of the game, but the Sens had the best scoring chance when MacArthur spotted Turris in the open and sent him on a short-handed breakaway. Howard made a respectable glove save. Detroit had some tremendous pressure and a few great chances just after the penalty expired, but Craig Anderson stood tall and kept the game knotted at naughts.

The Sens got the next powerplay, and they were finally able to convert on it. After some intense puck movement that saw every player on the ice touch the biscuit, it ended up on Karlsson's stick at the point and he fired a snapshot low to beat Howard (finally).

Detroit outshot Ottawa by a 16-7 margin in the second period, but it didn't quite look that one-sided. Ottawa was up by one after forty minutes.

The Wings came out strong for the final frame, taking full advantage of a short powerplay that carried over from the previous one. On a bit of a broken play, Bobby Ryan lost track of Henrik Zetterberg in the Sens zone, and the Red Wings captain chipped a sneaky backhand high over Anderson's glove to tie the game.

Ottawa was on their heels for most of the third period, but Anderson's strong play kept the Wings at bay until Patrick Wiercioch was able to score his first of the season to restore the one-goal lead. The Sens killed a penalty taken by Jared Cowen just after that, and Clarke MacArthur capped off the 3-1 victory with his sixth of the season into an empty net.

Sens Hero: Mike Hoffman
Aside from MacArthur and Turris (both of whom played far more than he), Hoffman was probably Ottawa's most dynamic and impactful player of the game. His speed gave the Wings' defenders fits, and resulted in a couple of Ottawa powerplays and a bunch of shots. Hoffman's four shots on net were matched only by MacArthur.

Sens Hero: Chris Phillips
Until he left the game due to a reported lower-body injury, Chris Phillips impressed me with his strong play--especially against Detroit's stars, Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. It strikes me as no coincidence that Zetterberg's first shot didn't come until after Phillips had left the game. For stints, Phillips has played well in a one-on-one shutdown role, and he did it well tonight. If he's out for an extended period, the Sens will miss him.

Sens Hero: Erik Karlsson
There were some tough moments for Karlsson, but on the whole he had a very good bounce-back game after his tough outing against the Bruins. He ended up with two points, including his goal and an assist on Wiercioch's winner, and generally had a strong game.

Sens Hero: Craig Anderson
Andy was great. He wasn't tested much in the first period, but he withstood the storm through the second and third and kept the Sens in it long enough for them to get the win.

Dishonourable Mention: Bobby Ryan
This game featured the can't-spell-intense version of Bobby Ryan, who is far less popular than the 30-goal-scorer version. Aside from his early scoring chance and a couple of hits, he was barely noticeable.

Honourable Mention: Eric Gryba
Just want to give Ottawa's resident penalty-killing specialist a shout-out for another solid effort while a man down. The biggest reason why he's played every game this season is his strong play on the PK.

The Benjaminute
Although my six-month-old son Ben only saw the first two periods of the game, he wanted to share his insights:

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I couldn't have said it better myself.

Shot chart (via ESPN):

Shot chart, 2014-11-04

Game Flow via Natural Stat Trick:


B_T's do(ugh)nut:

B_T donut, 2014-11-04

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