Ottawa 7, Tampa Bay 3

Ottawa was able to survive falling asleep early in the second period to bury the Lightning.  Sergei Gonchar, Colin Greening, and Kyle Turris were able to end lengthy goal-scoring droughts and Ben Bishop was good enough to win.  I don’t see the Lightning play very often, but there were a lot of dives tonight–the officials did a good at ignoring most of them.  Here’s the box score.

First Period
The Sens started the game with an early powerplay they weren’t able to generate much pressure with, but after Mathieu Garon pulled his groin the offense began to roll for Ottawa.  Gonchar opened the scoring on a great pass from Greening; then Greening broke his own lengthy goal-scoring streak on a great pass from MichalekTurris rounded out the scoring in the period, his shot deflecting in off Clark.
Second Period
The Sens came out flat and missing Chris Phillips who suffered a broken nose in the first period.  Tampa scored early when Daugavins lost his check (Shannon) who was wide open in the slot and beat BishopWallace then scored on the rush, beating Bishop high on the short side.  Paul MacLean called a time out and Ottawa began to push back.  Aulie fought Greening after a hit he didn’t like, resulting in an Ottawa powerplay where Karlsson scored.
Third Period
Ottawa dominated the period until a St. Louis dive resulted in a Stamkos powerplay goal.  The Sens did get their own opportunity not long after and capitalised with a great shot by Michalek.  The Lightning tried to push, but weren’t able to generate enough scoring chances and Michalek ended the game with two empty-net goals.

Here’s a look at the goals:
1. Gonchar (Greening, Cowen)
The Lightning got running around in their zone leaving Gonchar wide open back door and Greening found him with a great pass
2. Greening (Michalek, Kuba)
Kuba shoots wide and Roloson overcommits, leaving half his net open as Michalek was able to pass it to a wide open Greening in front
3. Turris (unassisted)
Karlsson’s rush is stopped, but Turris fires the loose puck off of Clark and in
4. Tampa Bay, Shannon
Daugavins loses his check leaving Shannon alone in the slot
5. Tampa Bay, Wallace
Cowen turns the puck over at the blueline and Wallace is able to beat Bishop high short-side
6. Karlsson (pp)
Hedman clears the puck right too Karlsson and beats Roloson high short-side
7. Tampa Bay, Stamkos (pp)
Condra and Smith get mixed up on coverage leaving Stamkos wide open and he beats Bishop high short-side
8. Michalek (Alfredsson, Kuba) (pp)
Great pass to the top of the circle and he fires it top-shelf.
9. Michalek (en)
10. Michalek (en-sh)

Top-performers:
Colin Greening – key assist on the first goal and scored himself
Milan Michalek – the easiest natural hat-trick he’ll ever get, but he played very well throughout

Players Who Struggled: no one really struggled tonight, although I think Ben Bishop would like back the Wallace goal.

Senators News: March 6th

Ben Bishop has been recalled from Binghamton while Robin Lehner has been sent down (link); Bishop is expected to start tonight against Tampa

Daniel Alfredsson talks about the season so far, “We didn’t know what to expect with this team. There were a lot of questions and I was asked a lot if I would look to go somewhere else (at the deadline). I was like everybody else. I was just really happy we didn’t have to make that decision. We put ourselves in a position where we have a really good chance of making the playoffs. The major factor is: Do I feel I still have it in me and go through another summer of workouts, training camp and playing another year? Then, health-wise and then family. Those are the three components. When I thought about it last summer, I just wanted to come back and see what I could do (after the back surgery) to see if I was healthy and if I could get healthy. I’ve been able to do that so it’s been really encouraging throughout the year. It’s been a lot of fun and, hopefully, the best is yet to come.”

Erik Karlsson was fined $2,500 for his slash on Sean Bergenheim.

TSN and The Hockey News‘ power rankings are out with Ottawa 12th in both.

-Binghamton has signed Dan Henningson (17-1-4-5 +1) to a standard AHL contract.  Henningson was on a PTO from the ECHL’s Chicago Express.

Joy Lindsay reports that Corey Cowick (18-4-4-8 -1) has been recalled from Elmira and is expected to play tomorrow.  The lines at practice: Corey Cowick-Corey Locke-Mark Parrish, David Dziurzynski-Stéphane Da Costa-Jack Downing, Derek Grant-Pat Cannone-André Petersson, Mike Hoffman-Wacey Hamilton-Mike Bartlett/Francis Lessard; Mark Borowiecki-Eric Gryba, Dan Henningson-Tim Conboy, Patrick Wiercioch-Craig Schira, Josh Godfrey.

-Binghamton has also announced their Clear Day rosters, which designates those eligible to compete in the remainder of the 2011-12 AHL regular season and in the 2012 Calder Cup playoffs. Binghamton can still add signed junior players or players on amateur tryout contracts after their  seasons are complete.  The roster: Ben Bishop, Robin Lehner; Mike Bartlett, Mark Borowiecki, Pat Cannone, Tim Conboy, Stephane Da Costa, Jack Downing, David Dziurzynski, Josh Godfrey, Derek Grant, Eric Gryba, Wacey Hamilton, Dan Henningson, Mike Hoffman, Rob Klinkhammer, Francis Lessard, Corey Locke, Mark Parrish, Andre Petersson, Craig Schira, and Patrick Wiercioch.

Hockey Futures writes about prospects on the rise or declining, and Jakob Silfverberg is included on the upswing: “The primary cause for Silfvergberg‘s offensive explosion is at least partially due to simple physical maturity. The 21-year-old has added about five pounds of muscle over the last year and it shows, as he is very strong protecting the puck and battling for it in the corners. Expect the talented forward to come to join the Senators organization for the 2012-13 season, where he could make an immediate offensive impact in the top-nine.”  Colin Greening is on the downswing, “After a fairly strong start to the first half of the season, Greening has gradually seen his production decline over the past month. He picked up only one point in the month of February, an assist on the 26th, and prior to that he had been held off the scoresheet 10 games in a row. Some of his decline is likely due to wear and tear, as it is common for first-year NHL players to hit a wall around the mid-way point of the season. Much of it however is also due to a lack of confidence, and his decreased time on the ice is a reflection of that. Regardless of how he finishes his season however, Greening should be considered a solid top-nine forward in the NHL.”  Greening‘s declining production fits in with the rest of the Sens secondary scoring.