Ottawa 3, Edmonton 4 (OT)

Ottawa came storming out of the gate to start the game, but were the inferior team through the final three periods and have to be happy with getting a point.  The game was entertaining to watch–wide open hockey.  Here is the box score.

First Period
The Sens stormed out of the gate and dominated the Oilers.  Alfredsson scored the only goal, firing through a great Michalek screen.  Chris Neil had the hit of the period, burying the struggling PaajarviCowen made a brutal giveaway that resulted in a Brian Lee penalty.
Second Period
The Oilers dominated early, spurred on by turnovers (Karlsson had an identical one at his own blueline from the Nashville game).  Craig Anderson sparkled while Edmonton was on the powerplay, with great saves off Eberle and Hall.  The Oilers would tie it when Spezza lost a puck battle on the boards and Butler lost his check (Paajarvi) who scored into the 4×6.  Michalek put the Sens back ahead on a mini-breakaway, but Eager is able to tie it when Ryan Jones knocks over Cowen to give him his own mini-breakaway.
Third Period
loses track of his check and Horcoff is wide open to give Edmonton their first lead of the game.  Riding the momentum, Paajarvi hits the post and later Lee saves a goal by knocking over Hemsky who has a wide open net.  Karlsson is able to tie it up when Petry clears his rebound right back to him.  The Oilers dominate the final minutes, and a Phillips turnover is bailed out by Anderson.
The Oilers win the opening draw and score on that play, with Michalek (again) missing his defensive assignment.

A look at the goals:
1. Alfredsson (Karlsson, Spezza)
Karlsson blocks the Oiler clear and Alfredsson fires through a Michalek screen
2. Edmonton, Paajarvi
Spezza loses the battle on the boards with Horcoff and then Butler loses his check (Paajarvi) who scores on a wide-open net
3. Michalek (Spezza, Butler)
Sent in on a mini-breakaway Michalek makes no mistake
4. Edmonton, Eager
Ryan Jones knocks over Cowen to give Eager a mini-breakaway and he beats Anderson 5-hole
5. Edmonton, Horcoff
Michalek loses track of Horcoff who is wide open for a one-timer
6. Karlsson (unassisted)
Petry swats Karlsson’s rebound right back to him and he fires it home
7. Edmonton, Hall
Michalek is late on the back check again and Hall puts in Horcoff’s rebound

Erik Karlsson – a goal, an assist, and other than one brutal turnover was excellent defensively
Craig Anderson – he probably should have stopped Eager’s goal, but did a great job keeping the Sens in the game
Brian Lee – saved two goals in the game and was solid overall

Players who struggled:
Milan Michalek – yes he scored, but he’s the goat on two Oiler goals including the winner
Filip Kuba – a rare off-game for the normally reliable Kuba

I’ll give an honourable mention on the positive side to Zack Smith, who seems to be turning his game around.

Senators News: February 11th

Bryan Murray talked about potential trades, “Right now, some teams are looking for a top young prospect and a first-round pick in exchange for a (UFA). I’m not willing to do that. I’d like to send a message to our team that we’re serious about getting into the playoffs and being able to perform at that time.  If something comes along that makes a lot of sense to us as far as improving the team, maybe not necessarily short-term, but longer-term, then certainly I’d consider that. Maybe a little like Kyle Turris. Maybe not that young, but a player we know we can keep in the organization for a period of time and can help us as we go forward. I’ve only talked to a few, but the teams I’ve talked with, it doesn’t seem realistic that you could make a deal from our perspective. I think if you’re a top team, you might pay the price, but from our perspective, not being in first place in our conference, we probably wouldn’t want to pay the price that’s being asked. I won’t be as busy. I can assure you of that. I don’t really have an answer. I believe that core of players that we have, we want to keep. We feel we have a plan in place that will give us a chance to grow this organization back to one of the good ones. I’m not in a mood to trade a top young player for a rental.”  Let me unpack this a little: Murray might part with a high pick and a prospect for a player who is not a UFA.  It’s hard to know who that might be–someone like a re-signed Tuomo Ruutu?  To my mind the only parts they could use are a top-six winger or a blueliner with decent footspeed.  Given that Murray wants to send a message of encouragement to the players it seems unlikely potential UFA’s like Filip Kuba are going anywhere.  It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the Sens do at the deadline.

Allen Panzeri writes about Milan Michalek‘s goal scoring troubles (and briefly those of many of his teammates), with everyone believing he’ll pull out of his slump soon.

Joy Lindsay writes that Robin Lehner will get the start for Binghamton tonight.

-Elmira lost in OT last night, with Brian Stewart taking the loss and Corey Cowick held off the score sheet.  Louie Caporusso did not play again with what I assume is a lingering injury.