Ottawa Senators 3, New York Rangers 0

In one of the dullest games of the year Ottawa was able to outlast the Rangers for their first shutout of the year.  It was a rough game for the Chris PhillipsBrian Lee duo and the Sens attack had long spells of ineffectiveness.  Nevertheless, timely scoring and strong goaltending from Craig Anderson were enough to prevail.  Click here for the box score.  A look at the goals:
1. Spezza (Phillips)
Spezza is allowed to walk into prime scoring position and beats Lundqvist
2. Michalek (Karlsson, Greening)
A great defensive play by Karlsson leads to a great offensive play by Karlsson setting up Michalek
3. Spezza (Karlsson) (pp)
Karlsson creates a turnover and sends Spezza in on a 2-on-1 where he scores on his own rebound

Top-performers:
Erik Karlsson – had a slow start, but picked up his game and made two key plays leading to goals
Craig Anderson – a solid game from Anderson who kept the team in it early

Players Who Struggled:
Chris Phillips – it’s ironic that during such a terrible game he picked up an assist on the winning goal
Brian Lee – paired with Phillips his game wasn’t pretty either
Jared Cowen – lead the team in turnovers

Senators News: January 12th

-As expected, Erik Karlsson is in tonight’s lineup making Brian Lee the scratch

Matt Carkner took a shot at Matt Cooke at the end of the Pittsburgh game and said, “He ran Gonch. We’re up 5-1. He dove (after he was hit by Carkner). I don’t understand why you dive when there’s zero seconds left on the clock. You’re not going to get much of a power play there. He’s one of those guys who always takes his cheapshots here and there. When I get a chance to give him a shot back. I gave him a little shot. I don’t know why he dove … Avoiding the second shot was probably was what he was doing so it was probably smart on that part. You deserve that. Keep your head up. You can’t run our good players. He’s one of those guys that always take liberties on other players. I don’t think he’s too fair of a player.”  It’s truly amazing how players like Matt Cooke never really do pay the price for their actions.

Colin Greening has been chosen for the All-Star Rookie Team

-Joy Lindsay Tweets that Mike Bartlett has been signed to a standard player contract as his PTO was about to expire

Sports Illustrated‘s Stu Hackel gives his first-half report for the season (link) with Ottawa included as one of the most surprising teams, “And the Ottawa Senators, an afterthought to many, had a very good — and very exciting, given their regular late game heroics — first half. Ottawa is a team that refuses to lose.”  He gives Paul MacLean credit and includes him among the best coaching jobs this season, but gives the final nod to Ken Hitchcock.  Hackel’s whole article is well worth reading.

Dion Phaneuf was voted the most overrated player by his peers for the second year in a row (link).  I don’t think player polls mean a whole lot, but it’s amusing that Phaneuf is  annoying/arrogant enough to win it back-to-back.