Ottawa 4, Nashville 3

The Sens broke their losing streak tonight with a solid win over Nashville.  It was a big night for Chris Phillips who celebrated his 1,000th game with a pair of goals.  I have humble pie to eat as the insertion of Bobby Butler proved an astute move by Paul MacLean.  Here’s the box score.

First Period
Spezza scores early on an odd-man rush to give the Sens a rare lead.  Phillips sends a suicide pass up to O’Brien and then proceeds to pass to the wrong team with O’Brien bailing him out.  Craig Smith walks around Cowen and hits the post.  Late in the period the Sens get caught on a bad line change and Auld is beat by Bourque with a shot he should have had.
Second Period
The Sens have two ineffective powerplays (including a short 5-on-3) early in the period, but Phillips is able to give them back the lead on a shot through a great Michalek screen.  Gonchar hits the post and then before the period ends Hornqvist makes a great tip to tie the game back up while the Preds are on the powerplay.
Third Period
Spezza scores on the powerplay off a turnover created by Michalek.  Phillips then salts the game away, cashing in on a Kuba rebound (also a powerplay goal).  Nashville adds a late 6-on-5 marker, but it’s too little, too late.

The goals:
1. Spezza (Michalek, Butler)
Spezza keeps on the odd-man rush and beats Renne short side
2. Nashville, Bourque
Auld gets caught too deep in his net
3. Phillips (Butler, Spezza)
Fires the shot through Michalek in front, beating Renne 5-hole
4. Nashville, Hornqvist (pp)
A great tip in front of Auld
5. Spezza (Michalek) (pp)
Michalek knocks the puck loose right in front of the net and Spezza bangs it in
6. Phillips (Kuba, Foligno) (pp)
Kuba’s rebound is banged in by a hard-driving Phillips
7. Nashville, Erat
Michalek’s clearing attempt goes right to Erat who fires it into the open net

Top-performers:
Milan Michalek – his best game in a long time, with two assists and several scoring chances
Daniel Alfredsson – another strong game despite not getting any points
Chris Phillips – despite a few brain cramps the Big Rig got the job done

Players who struggled:
Jared Cowen – got walked around by Craig Smith and continues to turn the puck over in his own zone

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