Senators soundly beaten 4-1 by Canucks
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There isn't much to be surprised about after Saturday's game: The Ottawa Senators looked a lot like a team with just three wins in the last ten games, and the Vancouver Canucks looked like a team who'd won nine of their last ten. The Canucks executed their game plan well, Roberto Luongo made the saves that he had to, and they ended up with a convincing victory by the end.
Things started early for Vancouver, when they were awarded a powerplay early and made the best of it just four seconds in, when Alexander Edler scored with a seeing-eye shot from the point. Ryan Kesler scored two straight goals, one in the first and one in the second, and then Colin Greening scored Ottawa's only goal late in period number two. The Sens came on strong in the third, but Luongo stood tall for Vancouver until Dale Weise salted the game away late in the third.
Sens Killer: Ryan Kesler
Kesler had two goals and an assist in the game, plus six shots on goal. He wasn't just a physical force on the ice, but he led the way offensively in a game where the Senators managed to contain the Sedins relatively well.
Sens Zero: Penalty Kill
After a terrible start to the season, the Sens' penalty killers had really found themselves a groove. They hadn't allowed more than one powerplay goal against in a game since October 29--at least, until tonight. Vancouver (admittedly, the league's top powerplay) converted on two of five chances, which went most of the way in setting Ottawa back.
Honourable Mention: Matt Carkner
Not a bad effort for Carkner's first game of the season: He finished with 15:40 TOI, including 5:21 while short-handed, and managed two shots on net while finishing +1 overall.
I'm really getting sick of watching opposing teams take liberties with the captain of the Ottawa Senators, and seeing his teammates just cruise by as if nothing happened. Daniel Alfredsson puts his heart on the line every single shift he plays, but for some reason, even if opponents give him a shot here or there--like Kesler's light check on Alfie, or a cross-check by (I believe) Dan Hamhuis that put Alfredsson in obvious discomfort--his teammates don't respond.
It makes me think of the Mark Bell hit on Alfie a few years back, that also met no response from Ottawa. As a fan, it's really frustrating to watch.