Ottawa 5, New York Islanders 2

After a brutal start to the game, where Robin Lehner kept them in it, the Sens were able to turn the corner and dominate the Islanders.  Erik Karlsson was able to break Norm Maciver‘s franchise record for points by defenceman and the Sens fourth line contributed three goals including the winner.  It will be interesting to see if Paul MacLean thinks Lehner has earned the start against Boston.  Here’s the box score.

First Period
The Sens came out flat, giving up an early goal on a two-on-one by Tavares and struggling all over the ice for half the period (being outshot 10-0).  Lehner kept them in it, including stopping Reasoner on a clear breakaway. They woke up in the latter stages of the period and were able to apply some pressure to NabokovSpezza had a brutal period, leading the team in giveaways.
Second Period
Ottawa came out stronger in the period, but still needed an incredible save from Lehner on Tavares to allow them to tie the game on the powerplay (Michalek).  Just prior to the goal Spezza was hit by an Alfredsson slapper and went straight to the dressing room, but was able to return and score on the next powerplay.
Third Period
The Sens did a great job cutting down on the chances for the Islanders and O’Brien scored on a turnover created by Neil.  The Isles were able to capitalise on an Alfredsson turnover to cut the lead to one, but as the momentum began to switch Neil made a fantastic tip to give the Sens back their two goal lead.  Turris salted the game away with an empty-net goal.

Here’s a look at the goals:
1. New York Islanders, Tavares
Karlsson pinches down the wall and Spezza is late in covering for him, leading to a 2-on-1.  Tavares shoots and the puck squeezes between Lehner’s arm and his body
2. Michalek (Karlsson, Turris) (pp)
Karlsson feeds Michalek in the slot who beats Nabokov with a back-hander
3. Spezza (Karlsson, Kuba) (pp)
Blasts a shot over Nabokov’s shoulder
4. O’Brien (Neil)
Neil creates a turnover and O’Brien powers a shot through Nabokov’s glove
5. New York Islanders, Parenteau
Alfredsson can’t clear the puck and Michalek loses his check (Parenteau) who is wide open in the slot
6. Neil (Foligno)
A fantastic close-in tip by Neil on Foligno’s flip pass
7. Turris (Foligno, Greening) (en)

Top-performers:
Erik Karlsson – keyed the Sens comeback and shifted the games momentum
Robin Lehner – made two incredible saves at key times in the game to help the team win
Chris Neil – a vital assist and goal in the third period

Players Who Struggled:
Jared Cowen – lead the blueline in turnovers and continues to struggle
Kyle Turris – maybe the empty-net goal he scored will help him out, but he’s a key reason why Ottawa’s second line has been ice cold

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