Senators News: January 31st

-The big news is that Jason Spezza is out indefinitely as he will have back surgery.  The Sens historically are not good without Spezza so it will be interesting to see how they manage in his absence.

-Here are my thoughts on last night’s game.

Alfredsson talked about dealing with frustration with the first period of last night’s game:

We kind of told ourselves after the first that we thought we got a couple of calls against us that were tough and we just have to keep moving our feet and we’ll get some power plays and it’s nice when you can capitalize on it.

-Binghamton has recalled Darren Kramer and Dustin Gazley while signing Elmira d-man Kyle Bushee to a PTO.

-Elmira suspended Justin DaCosta who signed a deal with Kookoo in the Finnish second division.  The departure to Europe is also why the team suspended Artem Demkov not long ago (he’s playing for Hamburg in the DEL).

Bob McKenzie‘s mid-season draft rankings are out (I’ve put ISS‘ rankings, where different, in brackets, with NR designating the player did not make their top-30):
1. Seth Jones
2. Nate MacKinnon
3. Jonathan Drouin
4. Aleksander Barkov
5. Elias Lindholm (6)
6. Sean Monahan (5)
7. Rasmus Ristolainen (8)
8. Hunter Shinkaruk (14)
9. Nikita Zadorov
10. Valeri Nichushkin (7)
11. Alexander Wennberg (21)
12. Darnell Nurse (10)
13. Frederik Gauthier (19)
14. Andre Burakowsky (18)
15. Ryan Pulock (17)
16. Adam Erne (15)
17. Anthony Mantha (NR)
18. Max Domi (28)
19. Bo Horvat (22)
20. Josh Morrissey
21. Mirco Mueller (NR)
22. Zachary Fucale (NR)
23. Kerby Rychel (27)
24. Jason Dickinson (13)
25. Curtis Lazar (11)
26. Jacob De La Rose (NR)
27. Valentin Zykov (16)
28. Ryan Hartman (25)
29. Robert Hagg (12)
30. J. T. Compher (26)

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Ottawa 5 Montreal 1

Ottawa overcame the absence of Jason Spezza and Sergei Gonchar, along with an early deficit and a sluggish first period, to crush Montreal 5-1.  Craig Anderson made 31-saves for the win, but did not need to be dominating to secure the win.  Here’s the boxscore.

Game Notes
-Despite two fights and a ton of penalties the game was not particularly explosive
-Speaking of fights, both were completely incidental and irrelevant (particularly Zack Smith‘s)
Smith came close to an own-goal in the third as he cleared the puck off his own post
Chris Neil took two dumb penalties (one while on the powerplay), but he did score late
Mark Borowiecki continues to struggle and had a particularly egregious turnover in the third
-Along with his goal Jim O’Brien had a short-handed breakaway
-So many NHL teams front their goaltenders to block shots, but tonight the Sens were able to benefit from the strategy as three of their goals were second chances off blocks and a fourth was deflected in by a defender attempting to block
Anderson‘s best save was off Prust point-blank in the third
-Despite playing well Zibanejad had the least amount of ice time on the team

The Goals
1. Montreal, Plekanec (pp)
Anderson stumbles and is unable to stop the puck from trickling through his feet
2. O’Brien (Karlsson, Condra)
Bangs in Karlsson‘s shot after its blocked by the crowd in front
3. Alfredsson (Wiercioch, Turris) (pp)
Wiercioch‘s point shot is blocked and Alfredsson hammers home the loose puck; it was a nice break for Alfie as just moments before he rang a shot off the post
4. Zibanejad (Greening, Benoit) (pp)
Big slapper deflects off Habs defender through Budaj
5. Phillips (Smith, Greening)
Hammers home the puck from the slot
6. Neil (Benoit, Smith)
Another shot blocked in front gets cashed in on the wrap-around

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)