Ottawa 2, Montreal 3 (SO)

The Sens were the better team to start the game, but the Habs slowed the game down and dominated the second and much of the third.  Neither team could capitalise on their chances in overtime and for the second game in a row the Sens lost in a shootout.  Here’s the box score.

First Period
Ottawa started the game with good pressure, but Ben Bishop had to make a huge save on a 2-on-1 off a Milan Michalek turnover.  The Habs opened the scoring when Erik Cole banged in his own rebound.  The Sens responded immediately on a pass-happy play that ended with Colin Greening cleaning up the garbage.
Second Period
The Sens opened with an early powerplay in which they were unable to generate anything.  A parade of penalties followed which gave the Sens a 4-on-3, but Price kept the game tied.  The Habs were the more physical team through the first half of the game.  Bishop made some great saves late in the period.
Third Period
The Habs score early with a great tip by Desharnais who got behind the defence.  The Sens had a hard time establishing a forecheck or sustained pressure.  Erik Karlsson came to the rescue with a wrister through a crowd that beat Price low and tied the game.  Condra and Daugavins barely played during the period.
Plekanec‘s hit the post and on the same play Matt Gilroy missed an empty net.
For the second game in a row the Sens couldn’t finish in the shootout–none of the shooters scored while Bishop went 2 fo 3.

Here’s a look at the goals:
1. Montreal, Cole
Bangs in his own rebound on a one-on-one rush with Karlsson
2. Greening (Michalek, Spezza)
Karlsson to Michalek to Spezza to Michalek who fans on his shot and Greening deposits the puck into the empty net
3. Montreal, Desharnais
A great tip, with Spezza losing Desharnais in coverage
4. Karlsson (Kuba, Spezza)
Fires it through Ryan White, beating Price low glove side

Erik Karlsson – tied the game and was strong defensively
Ben Bishop – kept the team in the game when they were unable to generate anything offensively

Players Who Struggled:
Matt Gilroy – he wasn’t terrible, but he can’t miss an open net in overtime


Senators News: March 14th

Elliotte Friedman Tweets that the Sens are close to signing 21-year old NCAA free agent forward Cole Schneider (6’2, 38-23-22-45) from the University of Connecticut.  Friedman’s comments are from yesterday, and Joy Lindsay Tweets today that he’s expected to sign an ATO and join Binghamton next week.

Daniel Alfredsson talked about the dangers of playing teams out of contention, “We played pretty good last year at the end. Everybody plays with pride. They’re playing pretty good and I’m pretty sure they want to make sure they finish strong going into next year. For us, it’s two more points on the line. We’ve got to make sure we bring our intensity and play smart. They’re playing a little bit more relaxed. If we give them chances, they’re going to be flying and cheating a little bit. We’re going to have to be very poised with the puck.”  Alfredsson also talked about the approach the Sens need to have for continued success, “For us, more than anything, it’s a reminder we’ve got to skate. When we’re skating, we’re making things happen. We’re creating offence, we’re getting back on the backcheck. Skate, and don’t get cautious. We’ve got to keep pushing. Buffalo, the way they play, they’re an aggressive team, if they get momentum, they’re a team that can win seven, eight, nine, 10 in a row. But if you’re a team that’s really patient (read: sits back) I don’t think you’re going to have the same kind of streaks as a skating team that’s aggressive.”

Adnan illustrates how meaningless fights have been in generating momentum for the Sens this year (with the odd exception of Colin Greening) and expresses the obvious point that fisticuffs have nothing to do with game outcomes.

Sports Illustrated‘s power rankings are out with Ottawa 14th.

Jakob Silfverberg was voted the SEL’s MVP by the leagues players.

Michael Traikos points out the obvious when he says, “Here is a league that readily admits the amount of concussions sustained so far this season is on par with last season, and yet this is somehow spun as good news.” And, “One website, the, reported last month that instances of concussion had risen by 60% this season. The NHL, which is not exactly forthcoming with injury information, claimed then the number was closer to 10%.”  There are only two effective deterrents, which are heavy-handed suspensions (which the NHL tried and immediately retreated from) and stronger penalties for hits to the head.  The combination of those two elements would eliminate most head shots.