Ottawa 2, New York Rangers 4

Ottawa played about forty-five minutes of good hockey tonight, which wasn’t enough to beat the Rangers.  As expected, the Sens gave up more quality chances than the Rangers and could not get game-saving goaltending from Anderson.  Ottawa did a good job penalty killing and managed to generate enough offensive chances, but the game was out of hand before they started to capitalise.  Viewers were treated to the CBC broadcast, which featured Bob Cole who couldn’t figure out Gonchar and Karlsson, while Glenn Healy spent the evening ejaculating about the Rangers.  Here’s the box score.

First Period
A nervous start for both teams with not much flow and no scoring chances early, but Kuba took the first penalty of the game with Anisimov hurling himself to the ice to draw the call (Richards tried the same thing on the first shift of the game, but the refs didn’t bite).  The Rangers didn’t get a chance on the man advantage.  Spezza nearly broke in all alone, but wasn’t able to get a shot off.  The Sens got a powerplay of their own via a Prust trip, but were unable to get set-up or generate a chance.  Condra was hurt by a Richards hit in the corner (Bob Cole didn’t notice).  The Rangers opened the scoring when Anderson got out of position on a point shot blocked by KubaBickel took a crosschecking penalty (that sent Glenn Healy rhapsodic whining), which produced the Sens first good scoring chance (a tip by Greening) which was followed by a near-break for Prust (well defended by Karlsson) and Boyle sucker punching Karlsson repeatedly (which turned into coincidental penalties).  The Sens controlled the play through the end of the frame.
Second Period
The Sens had a good start to the period, with Gonchar blasting a great chance over the net.  Anderson made a good save off Del ZottoSpezza had a chance about five minutes in, but couldn’t beat Lundqvist.  The following shift the Sens second line created all kinds of pressure, but Anderson nearly gave up another goal as he was caught well out of his net, but the Rangers couldn’t hit it from the red line.  Anderson made a great stop on Richards close to the midway point, followed by a great chance for O’Brien who was in all alone.  Tortorella called a timeout with the Rangers icing the puck over and over again.  Anderson made a fantastic save on Gaborik on a 2-on-1, and on the next shift stoned Stepan.  New York started to carry the play, but McDonagh tripped Karlsson to put Ottawa on the powerplay.  The Sens weren’t able to generate any chances with the man advantage and the Rangers scored on the following shift as Gonchar couldn’t make up his mind on his defensive coverage and allowed Gaborik to walk in on Anderson.  The Sens took a penalty on the next shift as the Rangers nearly scored again.  Ottawa killed the penalty, but Boyle scored when he collected a puck that bounced off Cowen.
Third Period
Foligno baubled the puck in his own zone leading to an easy one-timer goal by Richards.  The Sens were discombobulated for awhile after the goal, with disjointed play.  After killing a Smith slashing penalty the Sens broke Lundqvist‘s shutout bid with a great tip by Alfredsson.  Ottawa made the score look more respectable with a goal from Condra off a nice Foligno feed, but pulling Anderson for the last two minutes of the period weren’t able to get pucks to the net.

Here’s a look at the goals:
1. Rangers, Callahan
Kuba blocks a weak point shot and Anderson who loses his net and gives up a bad goal
2. Rangers, Gaborik
Gonchar can’t decide if he wants to take away the pass or attack the man so he let’s Gaborik go uncontested on Anderson and fakes him out
3. Rangers, Boyle
The puck bounces off Cowen and Anderson goes down immediately, allowing Boyle to pick the top corner
4. Rangers, Richards
Foligno baubles the puck behind the net and an uncontested Richards beats Anderson with a one-timer
5. Alfredsson (Spezza, Michalek)
Spezza floats a shot in and Alfredsson (uncontested in front) tips it in
6. Condra (Foligno, Turris)
A 2-on-1 down low after the Rangers all went after Turris along the blueline and Condra’s blooped shot beats Lundqvist

Daniel Alfredsson – scored a goal and was the only consistently dangerous Ottawa forward
Ottawa’s PK – did a great job preventing the Rangers from generating scoring chances with the man advantage

Players Who Struggled:
Craig Anderson – he did make some big saves, but when the Sens needed a game changing save he couldn’t produce one and allowed two goals he should have stopped
Ottawa’s Powerplay – unable to generate chances or momentum


Senators News: April 12th

-I wanted to include quotes from players going into tonight’s games, but you’ve heard all the cliches before.  The analysis offered in the papers has been deep and meaningful, with astonishing insight like goaltending will be important.  For my part I dive into the numbers for the series.

-Sens assistant GM Tim Murray was on The Team 1200 yesterday and said he wasn’t concerned about burning a year of Zibanejad‘s contract if they felt he could help the team win.  He also said they expect Jakob Silfverberg to join the team when the SEL playoffs are over (that could be as early as April 15th or as late as April 21st).  Nichols has the conversation transcribed for those who prefer reading it.

Jared Crozier makes his prediction for the Sens series and see’s Ottawa winning in six.  He’s the first person I’ve seen who provides some of the performances within the regular season series between the teams.

-For those who missed it, octogenarian Bob Cole will be calling the Ottawa series, much to the chagrin of Sens fans everywhere.  My only advice: hockey is a beautiful game even with the sound off.

Joy Lindsay reports that Wacey Hamilton and Dan Henningson‘s seasons are over due to injury.  She also interviewed Ben Blood who talked about his first two games with Binghamton, “The play is definitely faster. Guys are bigger, smarter, faster. You’ve got to be more positionally sound out there. You’ve got to support each other. But it’s also a little bit easier because all the guys are so much better. It just makes the game easier when you’re playing with better guys. I just want to be a big, physical, shutdown d-man out there. I’m just going to try to play my game, and play my game every night and every day at practice.”

Mark Stone‘s Brandon Wheat Kings have been eliminated in the WHL playoffs, but the Sens prospect was injured in their series so I’m not sure if he’ll join the NHL club or not.

-I watched the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia game last night and was struck by how much attention the media gave the missed call that lead to Briere‘s goal (making the game 3-1 Pittsburgh).  I mention it because of how many times the media has dismissed terrible officiating by saying it’s just an excuse and the NHL has the best officials in the world.  You have to wonder why this particular play excited them so much.  That being said, if you aren’t watching this series, you should be.  In the Nashville-Detroit series, Weber should be suspended, but he won’t be.