Ottawa 2, Florida 4; Binghamton 2, St. John’s 5

The Sens played yet another game where they were disjointed and often on their heels.  The first line was completely ineffective until Bobby Butler was removed from it and overall the Sens did not do enough to generate chances.  Robin Lehner could not duplicate his prior superhuman efforts, although none of the goals he allowed were soft.  Here’s the box score.

First Period
The game got off to a slow start with neither team able to establish a forecheck.  After a lifeless Ottawa powerplay the momentum was swinging towards Florida when Ottawa scored on a simple play–fire the puck at the net with traffic in front.  Chris Neil added a second goal on a Jim O’Brien rebound to give the Sens a 2-0 lead.
Second Period
The Panthers quicky took the momentum scoring twice early, first an excellent tip by Goc and then Barch deeked Lehner on a clear breakaway off a bad Senators line change.  Neil was called for a double minor and the Panthers cash in to take the lead and control most of the period.  Through the first two periods the entire first line (SpezzaMichalekButler) and Karlsson had been completely invisible.
Third Period
The Sens came out stronger in the third period (beginning to line juggle) and began to generate scoring chances when Karlsson was called for a trip when Weiss simply fell down.  The Sens killed the powerplay, but then a frustrated Karlsson took a dumb penalty slashing Bergenheim.  The Sens could do nothing on an abbreviated powerplay and after Kyle Turris hit the crossbar Skille powered through Karlsson and beat Lehner to salt the game away.

Here’s a look at the goals:
1. Cowen (Turris)
Snap shot through a Klinkhammer screen
2. Neil (O’Brien, Foligno)
Fires home O’Brien’s rebound through a crowd
3. Florida, Goc
Fantastic tip just in front of Lehner popped the puck over him and in
4. Florida, Barch
Sent on a clear breakaway on a bad Sens line change and deeks Lehner
5. Florida, Samuelsson (pp)
Alfredsson can’t control Samuelsson’s stick and he fires the puck home right in front of Lehner
6. Florida, Skille
Karlsson is overpowered by Skille who drives to the net and beats Lehner

Top-performers:
Chris Phillips – was strong defensively tonight
Kyle Turris – he needs to score consistently, but he had an assist and his line was the best tonight
Jim O’Brien – continues being strong defensively and picked up an assist on the second goal

Players Who Struggled:
Erik Karlsson – lead the team in turnovers, was weak defensively, and added nothing offensively
Bobby Butler – another invisible game for him

-Binghamton was outshot 40-23 and could not keep up with St. John’s who put four past Ben BishopJack Downing and Corey Locke scored for Binghamton and Patrick Wiercioch broke his pointless streak.  Craig Schira and Wiercioch lead the way at +2.  Here’s the box score and Joy Lindsay‘s game summary.

-Elmira won 3-0 this afternoon, with Brian Stewart earning the win and Corey Cowick scoring a goal.

Senators News: March 4th; Binghamton 0, Hershey 3

Rob Klinkhammer (35-12-23-35 -5) was recalled by the Sens yesterday and despite declining production this is a reward for his play.  This will be Klinkhammer‘s second NHL call-up as he played one game for Chicago last year and the plan is for him to play with Daniel Alfredsson and Kyle Turris in the hopes of generating secondary scoring.  Zack Smith will be healthy scratch for the first time this season (a decision I don’t like) and Kaspars Daugavins will remain out of the lineup.  Unsurprisingly, Robin Lehner will get the start.

Robin Lehner is keeping a level head about the hype surrounding him, “I heard it from one of the guys, I haven’t really seen it. You’ve got to put a little perspective on it, too. I’ve played four games this season. I’m happy with my performance in the four games, but it’s not there yet, to be that hyped. I understand why it’s hyped. I’m a really young goaltender. I feel like I’ve been playing solid, okay … it’s just the way it is here in Ottawa. I don’t mind it, and I don’t mind it when it goes bad, either. One bad game here and we’ll see if Lehn-sanity sticks. It probably won’t. These guys (Senators) have been teaching me lots about it. I don’t try to get too high when I’m good and too low when I’m down. You can hate me, but never break me. I know how it is. I know my role here. I’ve been following Craig and this team for the whole season. He’s been great. He’s been carrying this team. He has 29 wins this year. He’s been rock solid. I’m just trying to be here for this team right now. If I get the chance, I’ll just try to play my best, so we might get some points out of it. When he comes back, I’m not expecting anything. We’ll see what happens. Whatever they think is best for me, I’ve got to trust them and do what they say.”

-Binghamton was completely dominated by Hershey last night, outshot 38-17 with Mike McKenna taking the loss.  Pat Cannone lead the team with five shots and Patrick Wiercioch extended his pointless streak to 10 games.  Here’s the box score and Joy Lindsay‘s game summary.  Ben Bishop will start today against St. John’s.

-Elmira won 4-1 last night, with Brian Stewart earning the win Corey Cowick held off the scoresheet (Louie Caporusso remains out of the lineup).  Bobby Raymond had an assist in Florida’s 5-4 win.