Senators News: May 18th; Ottawa 3, Pittsburgh 4

-Ottawa dropped to 0-2 in their series against Pittsburgh after a spirited 4-3 loss.  Craig Anderson looked average in allowing 3 goals (18 saves), but Robin Lehner ultimately took the loss despite 17 saves.  Kyle Turris, Colin Greening, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for Ottawa.  The Penguins enjoyed a significant edge in powerplays (six to two), and the game winner game just after the end of a dumb Chris Neil infraction, but ultimately the officiating (while bad) wasn’t the determining factor in the game.  It was a rough night for Mika Zibanejad (who only played 7:52 TOI and -2), as well as for Erik Karlsson who spent most of the second period benched (15:37 TOI and -2).  On the positive side the Condra-Pageau-Greening line continues to be excellent and I thought Turris was solid as well.  Jared Cowen continues to have problems down low in his own end, but Marc Methot and Sergei Gonchar were the best among the defenders.  Here’s the boxscore.

Erik Karlsson was left searching for answers after the game:

We finished pretty strong, but we started poorly. Some of the blame is on me. I’m struggling a little bit. I don’t really know [if my problems are a result of injury or fatigue]. I don’t think I have the answer to that myself. I just have to find a way to figure my body out and obviously I’m not feeling the same way as I’m used to. It started bad and I just couldn’t get it going.

-There seems to be no goaltending debate amongst the blogging community (eg Mark Parisi), which surprises me given the other roster debates that go on paired with Anderson‘s lacklustre results against Pittsburgh all season.  Everyone wants to stay the course and if Andy blows another one maybe put in Lehner for clean-up duty when the team is down 0-3.  It seems counterintuitive to me–go with one or the other–as I don’t like the “safe” play.  With this kind of team MacLean should swing for the fences whatever he does (his comments after the fact give no indication he’s going to make a change).

-The big news is that Jason Spezza will play in game three (presumably putting Guillaume Latendresse back in the pressbox), but I wonder if he’s going to be like the Karlsson (a shadow of his pre-injury form) or not.  Regardless, he creates match-up problems for Pittsburgh and improves the Sens special teams and faceoffs (among other things).  Chris (and Travis Yost) speculates that Zibanejad will be moved to the wing.

Kerry Fraser wants officials to have discretion with the delay of game penalty when the puck is shot over the glass, which I think is a terrible idea.  I want refs to have less decisions to make, not more–consistency is the goal.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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