Senators News: February 15th

Jason Spezza talked about the win last night, “I think it’s the challenge of playing (Steve) Stamkos, (Vincent) Lecavalier and (Martin) St. Louis. You have to be on your game when playing against those guys. Some rinks you have a pretty good feel in and I’ve had decent success in this rink in the playoffs and regular season and there’s no other way to explain it, I guess.

Nick Foligno talked about his 15-game goal-scoring drought, “Maybe I just (need to) take that quick shot. Sometimes I get a pass and you’re looking for that extra step around a guy, instead of trying to shoot it maybe through the defenceman and catch the goalie by surprise. Those are little things you don’t really pick up on when you’re struggling and trying to find that open lane to shoot it. Those are the ones that usually go in.”

Don Brennan shares my puzzlement over Paul MacLean using Chris Phillips on the powerplay, although I’d guess it’s both a reward and to have someone defensively reliable on the blueline.

Sports Illustrated ran another player poll on the league’s most easily intimidated player in the NHL, with Phil Kessel “winning”, followed by the Sedin twins and Alexander Semin.

Sports Illustrated‘s power rankings are out with Ottawa 17th

Andre Petersson talked about his North American experience (as translated by Google), “Had I not had another Swedish player here, I would have moved home three months ago.”  He says the Binghamton arena is the worst in the AHL.  “They said it [the call-up] was a reward because I was playing great down here. The coach told me to play easily [simply]. I’m in the fourth line and only played five or six minutes. Then it is not so easy to go in and dominate right away.”  And, “Yes, we were doing and talking about returning to HV71 until the transfer window closed on 31 January. But in the end I felt it was foolish to give up, when I it is so close. In addition, I play a lot in Binghamton.  Lot’s on the power play and even the penalty kill, which I barely played in my life before. Some games I’ve had 30 minutes of ice time and have almost got to say to the coach to calm down.”

The Silver Seven‘s Adnan wonders if Ottawa should move its AHL affiliate, which is an interesting question but he proposes four locations without an AHL team (Ottawa, Gatineau, Kingston, and Kitchener-Waterloo).  I think the sentiment is correct, given how every European prospect who comes through Ottawa hates Binghamton, but I’m not sure if the Sens want to invest in an entirely new location.

Josh Godfrey and Wacey Hamilton were sent down to Elmira (link).  It was Hamilton‘s first assignment and the first for Godfrey since October.   Elmira won their game last night, with Godfrey scoring and Hamilton picking up an assist (Corey Cowick was held off the scoresheet and neither Brian Stewart nor Louie Caporusso played).  The pair were recalled today.

Joy Lindsay Tweets that David Dziurzynski was forced to leave practice with an apparent leg injury.

Ottawa 4, Tampa Bay 0

Ottawa combined superb goaltending and timely scoring to get back on the winning track.  It was an entertaining game that lacked physicality.  Here’s the box score.

First Period
The Sens started strongly and scored early, but the Lightning took over and dominated the latter stages of the period and were stymied only by excellent goaltending from Craig Anderson.
Second Period
Echoed the first period, with the Sens firing the first six shots of the period before a serious of brutal giveaways (mostly by vets: Phillips, Gonchar, Lee, and Alfredsson) required more spectacular saves from Anderson.  The Sens were able to get the only goal of the period to lead 2-0.
Third Period
A much more consistent effort by the Sens sealed the game and saw fewer grade A chances for the Lightning.  There was a dramatic crash into the end boards by St. Louis and Karlsson, but neither was injured.  Kyle Turris‘ woes continued as he was stopped on a penalty shot.  The only big hit of the game occurred in the third as well (Lee on Moore).  Speaking of Moore, I’m not sure I’ve seen a player dive more than he did tonight.

A look at the goals:
1. Karlsson (Spezza, Butler)
A great shot through a Michalek screen
2. Spezza (Kuba, Karlsson) (pp)
Hammered the shot through Garon
3. Spezza (Butler, Michalek)
A fantastic pass from Butler and an even better deke by Spezza
4. Spezza (Gonchar) (en)

Top-performers:
Jason Spezza – a four point night–he absolutely dominated
Craig Anderson – a fantastic game with several game-changing saves
Erik Karlsson – a goal and an assist along with some strong defensive play

Players who struggled: no one stood out with poor play tonight, although with all his chances you have to wonder when Turris is going to break out of his funk.