Ottawa 2, Montreal 1 (OT); Binghamton 4, Albany 2

Tonight the Ottawa Senators spent an eternity on the powerplay and were completely unable to adjust to Montreal’s PK.  As with the last game against the Habs, Montreal played rope-a-dope all night, but in the end the Sens were able to grind out the win and avoid the shootout.  Here’s the box score.

First Period
Montreal came out stronger, with the Sens struggling with the Habs speed down the wing.  The Sens gave up the game’s first goal short-handed as Plekanec‘s beat Bishop high from a long way out.  The Sens picked up their play after Neil fought Staubitz, establishing the forecheck.  Ottawa struggled to get shots to the net however and those that they did were stymied by Price (although Alfredsson and O’Brien both caught iron).
Second Period
The Sens opened the period on a lengthy 5-on-3 and after wasting some time with stationary passing Michalek hit the crossbar, but that was as close as they could get.  The Sens continued to be dominated on faceoffs.  Powerplays were evened out as the period wound on, with the Sens doing yeoman’s work on the PK while their PP got worse and worse (although Michalek did hit another crossbar).
Third Period
The Sens powerplay, if anything, got worse in the period–mistake prone and unable to generate quality chances.  Finally, the grinders score going to the net–Smith beats out an icing and throws the puck in front of the net which Greening bangs in.  With the game tied the Sens continued to have the puck most of the time, but struggled to create quality chances in the offensive zone.
OT
The Sens dominated overtime and won the game on a great pass from Alfredsson to Kuba who blew it by Price through a screen.

Here’s a look at the goals:
1. Montreal, Plekanec (sh)
A bad pass from Turris in the offensive zone goes the other way and Plekanec’s backs up Matt Gilroy and simply beats Bishop up high from a long way out
2. Greening (Smith, Condra)
Smith beats out an icing and his centering pass is banged in by Greening
3. Kuba (Alfredsson, Karlsson)

Top-performers:
Colin Greening – had a good ongoing battle with Subban (including a fight) and tied the game
Filip Kuba – struggled on the powerplay, but was solid defensively and scored the overtime winner

Players Who Struggled:
The Sens powerplay – were incapable to dealing with Montreal’s PK despite numerous opportunities

-Binghamton beat Albany tonight with Mike McKenna making 32 saves to earn the win.  Andre Petersson scored twice (including the winner) with Craig Schira and David Dziurzynski adding the others.  Tim Conboy finished +4.  Here’s the box score and Joy Lindsay‘s game summary.

Senators News: March 16th

Kaspars Daugavins is scratched tonight, while Bobby Butler returns to the lineup after missing the last four games.  Ben Bishop will start.

Daniel Alfredsson is the Sens Masterton nominee.  Many (including Alfredsson) thought this might be his final year, but with his strong play it seems more than likely he’ll be back next season.

Michael Farber writes about the Sens acquisition of Ben Bishop, saying he might be the best trade deadline acquisition thus far.  Sens goaltending coach Rick Wamsley said, “He’s been down a few roads, had a few bumps. That might be able  to help him in his development.”  Farber writes both about his performance thus far with the Sens and what might happen down the road, including the thought that he might become trade bait himself next year if the Sens stick with the AndersonLehner plan going forward.

Joy Lindsay Tweets that Mike McKenna will get the start for Binghamton tonight.

ZekeA, one of the best Binghamton posters, is writing up the year that was for the B-Sens in analyzing the performance of the individual players.  Here’s his view of the team’s achyllis heel, it’s blueline:
Eric Gryba: Big defensive D-man 2nd yr pro. Takes care of his own end pretty good. Far from the fastest skater, can be physical. Has played a ton of minutes this yr too many in fact. Fatigue of all those minutes is showing up on Eric. He can make a good pass to get the puck out of his own end. Recently he has started to get some points.
Mark Borowiecki: 1st yr pro with 21 games Calder Cup playoffs under his belt. OK I like him has a flare for the game more defensive D-man. Can join the rush up ice a bit, physical OK at making 1st pass to clear the zone. Has played a ton of minutes this yr too many in fact. Fatigue of all those minutes is showing up on Mark also. As Eric and Mark play dam near 30 min a game if not more down here this yr. In my view Mark needs 40 more games down here next yr to round out his game a bit more then off to Ottawa he will go…
Patrick Wiercioch: 2nd yr pro Patrick has had a tough yr with that throat injury. An offensive D-man. Patrick would benefit from a summer of living in the Gym up in Ottawa to get bigger and stronger. Patrick needs to work on the defensive part of being a D-man. IF he does NOT do as JOB did 2 summers ago ,live in the Gym all summer & get stronger he will never be able to move up. It is up to Patrick to work his rear off this summer to add strenght + learn to play defence…. If not they might as well make him a forward or trade him.
Craig Schira: 3rd yr pro well Craig has fallen off this yr. His 1st yr I thought he showed some promise, but the last 2 yrs no. As Craig stats have fallen each yr. He is a #6 D-man at the AHL level. I would NOT resign him. Time to bring in more D-men to develop next yr. + there would not be any room for Craig down here next yr as other D-men will come in to develop…
Tim Conboy: Free agent signing by Ottawa. More of a defensive D-man. Has grit not the best skater. Tim has missed 18 games due to injuries this season. Some of the plays he makes I shake my head. I would not resign Tim for next season…..
Josh Godfrey: Well at best he is an 8th D-man at the AHL level.
Not included in ZekeA’s summary is Bobby Raymond (who played 38 games for Binghamton), but like Godfrey he is a marginal AHL-player.

-The OHL‘s Eastern Conference Coaches Poll has Sens prospect Shane Prince tied with Ivan Telegin as the fastest skater.

Stefan G: Son is one of many wondering about Jakob Silfverberg‘s game and how it will translate to the NHL.  The only element of the article I’ll point to is the emphasis on his shot, which is something Tim Murray and the Sens brass talked about last summer when they were trying to keep him here.  When he was drafted Silfverberg was seen as a strong two-way player, with the only concern expressed by management being his skating.  With three years of development he’s stronger in all areas and I doubt the transition to the smaller ice is going to be a big one for him.  Silfverberg is not going to be asked to play in the top-six, so offensive expectations (particularly early) need to be tempered.  Depending on how far Brynas goes in the SEL playoffs, I’d expect him to either see a few games in Binghamton or else play with the Sens black aces in the post-season.