Ottawa 3, Carolina 2 (SO)

Ottawa won tonight’s game in a shootout after a falling apart right near the end of the third period.  They played a poor first period (struggling to break out of their zone or win a faceoff), but dominated the second to take a two goal lead.  In the end they were able to earn the two points in the shootout (a former Senator menace).  For the box score go here link.  Tonight was an ugly night for the officials (Foligno was hauled down on three separate occasions with no call and Neil was high-sticked at the end of the second with no call).  Looking at the goals:

1. Konopka (Gonchar, Winchester)
Racing down the left side Konopka simply beats Ward short side with a great shot
2. Spezza (Greening, Gonchar) (pp)
A fantastic screen in front by Greening who pokes the rebound through Ward and Spezza taps it in for the easy goal
3. Carolina, Ruutu
Cowen and Gonchar get confused over who is going to touch the puck to create an icing in front of their net; neither touches it and Carolina bangs it in
4. Carolina, Skinner (pp)
A fantastic tip off a point shot
5. Spezza scores the only goal in the shootout for the win

The best players for Ottawa:
Milan Michalek – didn’t show up on the score sheet but was strong at both ends of the ice
Colin Greening – what’s not to like?  Wound up tied with Michalek for the most scoring chances on the team
Erik Condra – fantastic defensively and his all Binghamton line was terrific
Kaspars Daugavins – he played with confidence and tonight was by far his best game in an Ottawa uniform (I’m including the pre-season)
Filip Kuba – someone has pushed the “restart” button on the big Czech and he has been excellent
Craig Anderson – saved the game in the first period and the shootout, although I wish he’d handle the puck less as he’s off target on a high proportion of his pass attempts

The players who struggled:
Stephane Da Costa – I’m at a loss for why he hasn’t been sent down to Binghamton
Mika Zibanejad – he’s far too timid with the puck and needs to rebuild his confidence; he also turned the puck far too often

I don’t think David Rundblad was good enough to be among the best tonight, but for the third game in a row he was able to deke down from the blueline for a fantastic scoring chance–not many players can do that.


  1. There was one play in particular with De Costa where Carolina had a scoring chance in the 3rd period, Anderson made the save and the puck came to the side of the net about 10 feet from De Costa and he just stared at the loose puck and didn’t bear down on it, he did nothing to get his body or stick in position to protect the puck or take a hit to get to the puck, a Carolina player pounced on it and tried to stuff it in. De Costa was about 3 seconds late to this party, not his finest moment.

    De Costa is a good player, but he needs to be all over the defensive part of the game mentally and he wasn’t into it last night, he seemed to be gliding around his own zone looking to make a play, but not exactly sure what to do. Going on attack he is fine, but he needs to focus more in the D zone because his approach is just not cutting it.

    • I think he needs to go down to Binghamton and work on his game. I think he’s lost his confidence and that’s why you’re seeing hesitant play.

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