Ottawa 1, St. Louis 3

Ottawa fell behind tonight and simply had no answer offensively.  Paul MacLean made a poor decision in starting Craig Anderson and the team itself continued to fail to execute.  The Sens had enough chances to win the game, but either missed the net or got overly cute in their play.  Here’s the box score.

First Period
Ottawa has a good start, including a great chance for Spezza, but the Blues score off a bad play started by a Carkner rim-around.  Daugavins subsequently hits the post and Konopka fights Crombeen.  Barely a minute later Perron scores off Anderson fumbling the puck and Paul MacLean’s decision to start him costs him two goals in 3:49.  Auld comes in and Ottawa carries the play the rest of the period, including Greening hitting another post.  Carkner, whose play has been brutal throughout the losing streak, was benched early in the period.
Second Period
Sens get off to a good start with Alfredsson scoring on the powerplay.  Instead of the momentum changing, a Karlsson turnover gives Perron his second goal of the game and puts the Sens back behind the eight-ball.  Ottawa’s powerplay becomes increasingly disjointed (two more attempts in the period) and Spezza can’t hit the net on two golden opportunities.
Third Period
The Sens struggle to make passes and get through the neutral zone and then continue to be pass-happy on their powerplay opportunity.  Condra continues the trend of missing the net on a golden opportunity.  MacLean calls a timeout and the result is 45 seconds of the Sens being unable to enter the zone.

A look at the goals:
1. St. Louis, Porter
Carkner rims it too no one and both Phillips and Smith leave Porter wide open to tip in Polak’s shot
2. St. Louis, Perron
Anderson fumbles a rebound and Smith gives up on the backcheck, allowing Perron to swing around Anderson and score
3. Alfredsson (Gonchar, Spezza) (pp)
A great tip-in play
4. St. Louis, Perron
Karlsson’s soft back-hand pass is turned over at the blueline and Perron has no trouble beating Auld one-on-one

Top-performers:
Sergei Gonchar – picked up an assist and was good defensively
Jason Spezza – can drive you nuts by over-passing the puck, but he had the most scoring chances tonight
Chris Phillips – one of his better games tonight

Players who struggled:
Zack Smith – defensive lapses on two goals
Erik Karlsson – hasn’t been the same since the western road trip; brutal turnover on the third goal
Jared Cowen – has also been struggling for quite a while; lead the team in turnovers

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