Ottawa 6, Winnipeg 4

In an entertaining, sloppy game filled with turnovers and scoring chances, the Sens won through excellent goaltending from Craig Anderson and efficient scoring.  The win sinks the Jets chance at the playoffs while putting the pressure on Buffalo to keep pace.  Here’s the box score.

First Period
Ottawa opened the game with a pair of bad turnovers (Kuba and Michalek; the first resulted in Wheeler missing the net on a breakaway, while Anderson made the stop on the second).  During an ineffectual powerplay the Sens gave up a mini-breakaway to Bogosion (Karlsson fell asleep on his coverage).  Spezza had a great chance off a turnover, but couldn’t beat Pavelec five-hole.  The Jets dominated most of the first period, playing a wide open style and capitalising on Senator turnovers.  Spezza created another great chance, but Michalek wasn’t able to bang home his rebound.  Late in the period the Sens switched to trap-mode to cut down on the chances against.  In the closing seconds the Sens scored, with Neil cleaning up the garbage on a great shot by Spezza.
Second Period
The Sens opened the period strongly and Daugavins scored a beautiful goal off a turnover created by Condra.  The Jets got the goal right back after Kuba took a penalty.  Winnipeg tied the game as the Neil got watching the puck and Wellwood scored on Kane‘s rebound.  There was the oddity of a penalty call against the Jets being whistled down when the Sens had possession.  Condra hit the crossbar on a floater from well out, then short-handed Daugavins nearly scored on the identical move from earlier in the period followed by Michalek missing an empty net on a beautiful set-up from KarlssonSpezza, clearly ticked off after back-to-back tripping penalties, walked through the Jets and then gave Turris an empty net to give the Sens back the lead.  Ottawa gave the lead right back as Cowen can’t get to the puck Anderson leaves behind the net and Miettinen has a wide open cage to tie the game back up (Neil losing his check once again).
Third Period
Daugavins turned the puck over at his own blueline which resulted in a Wellwood penalty shot, but Anderson bailed him out.  A great turnover created by Karlsson lead to a goal by Alfredsson.  The pair nearly combined for another goal, but Alfredsson just missed the net.  Smith then had a mini-breakaway, but couldn’t beat Pavelec.  The Jets got the momentum towards the end of the period and through a scramble Kane put the puck in with his arm (the played was reviewed, but counted). Alfredsson scored on the next shift, giving the Sens back the lead, and Michalek sealed it away with a bank shot into the empty net.

A look at the goals:
1. Neil (Spezza, Karlsson)
Spezza creates something out of nothing and Neil bangs home his rebound
2. Daugavins (Condra, Smith)
Condra creates the turnover and Daugavins out waits Pavelec to score on the empty net
3. Winnipeg, Miettinen (pp)
Bangs in a rebound Anderson loses sight of
4. Winnipeg, Wellwood
Neil loses track of his check, leaving Wellwood wide open to score off Kane’s rebound
5. Turris (Spezza, Karlsson)
Great individual effort by Spezza gives Turris an empty net to score in
6. Winnipeg, Miettinen
Anderson tries to leave the puck to Cowen, but Stapleton is closer and gets the puck to Miettinen before Anderson can effectively get back in the net (Neil lost Miettinen in coverage)
7. Alfredsson (Karlsson)
Karlsson picks off an outlet pass and gets the puck down low to Alfredsson who beats an outstretched Pavelec
8. Winnipeg, Kane
A big scramble in front and the puck bounces off the arm of Kane (the play was reviewed)
9. Alfredsson (Kuba, Turris)
Alfredsson cleans up the garbage off Kuba’s blast from the point
10. Michalek (unassisted) (en)

Top-performers:
Craig Anderson – despite giving up four-goals he was a huge reason why the team won
Erik Karlsson – three assists and a plus five in the game
Daniel Alfredsson – scored two key third period goals, including the winner

Players Who Struggled:
Chris Neil – he scored, but defensive lapses lead to two goals against

Senators News: March 26th

Craig Anderson talked about his play and his health, “I knew they could count on me going in there and I had to make sure I held up the fort. A lot of it comes down to how the team is playing. Statistics are a direct result of how the team is playing. If the team is playing well, we’re scoring a lot of goals, we get out to a lead, stats sway in your direction. You get down a couple of goals, the game changes and before you know it, your stats aren’t looking that great. The strength is almost there. It’s not where it was before the injury but I knew that going in. I was able to do everything I could do before the injury, minus shooting the puck 50 mph, maybe I can only shoot it 35 mph. There was some battles around the net where I had to really battle with it. It’s only going to get better. Who is to say by next weekend it’s not 100%? It might be.”

ESPN‘s power rankings are out with Ottawa 16th.

Kurt Kleinendorst talked about last night’s loss, “I probably shouldn’t be surprised. For whatever reason, we just can’t find a way to sustain anything. I could come up with some reasons, but they would all sound like excuses, so I’m just not going to go there. But it is frustrating because when we come out and play hard, and when we have some jam and a little bit of desperation to our game, we’re hard to play against and tough to beat. That’s when we have success. It’s really so obvious, but they don’t quite get it for some reason.”

Matt Puempel talked about his first game for Binghamton, “Being cleared for the last couple weeks, I haven’t really thought about the concussion or anything like that. It was kind of good to not think about it because you show you’re not hesitant. I was just trying to make a couple hits, just get involved physically, because that really is the first contact I’ve had since January. With the change and everything, you kind of focus on different things. It’s less about coming back from a concussion and more about just getting a chance to play here. It was pretty much my first game I finished since December, so it was good. It was a lot of fun. It will take time to adjust, coming off an injury and then up to this level, it’s a really good league, and you can’t take that for granted. There was definitely an adjustment period, but it was a ton of fun. It felt good to get the first one out of the way and felt good for a first pro game.”

-Elmira won in a shootout, with Brian Stewart getting the win and Corey Cowick adding a goal.

-Prospect updates for those still playing (their position in team scoring is noted in brackets, defence compared to defence):
CHL
Mark Stone (RW, Brandon, WHL) 3-1-2-3 (t-2nd) (Brandon leads Calgary 2-1)
Shane Prince (C/LW, Ottawa 67s, OHL) 3-1-2-3 (3rd) (67’s leads Belleville 2-1)
Stefan Noesen (C/RW, Plymouth, OHL) 2-2-0-2 (1st) (Plymouth trails Guelph 0-2)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (RW, Chicoutimi, QMJHL) DNP (n/a) (Chicoutimi leads Acadia-Bathurst 2-0)
Jakub Culek (C/LW, Rimouski, QMJHL) 2-1-1-2 (8th) (Rimouski’s leads Val-D’Or 2-0)
Darren Kramer (C/LW, Spokane, WHL) 2-0-0-0 (t-11th) (Spokane trails Vancouver 0-2)
Jordan Fransoo (D, Victoria, WHL) 2-0-1-1 (2nd) (Victoria trails Kamloops 0-2)
SEL
Jakob Silfverberg (C/RW, Brynas) 6-5-4-9 (1st) (Brynas will play Farjestad in the second round)
Mika Zibanejad (C/RW, Djurgarden) 5-0-2-2 (8th) (Djurgarden is 1-2-2 in relegation with five games left to play)
Fredrik Claesson (D, Djurgarden) 5-1-1-2 (2nd) (Djurgarden is 1-2-2 in relegation with five games left to play)
Allsvenskan
Marcus Sorensen (RW, Boras) 3-1-0-1 (9th) (Boras is 2-2-1 in relegation with five games left to play)
NCAA
Chris Wideman (D, CCHA-Miami) 1-0-1-1 (1st) (Miami lost in the NCAA tournament and was eliminated)
Ben Blood (D, WCHA-North Dakota) 2-0-1-1 (1st) (North Dakota lost in the NCAA tournament and was eliminated)