Game Summary - Game 12: Sens blow lead, game; lose 6-5 to Chicago

By Luke Peristy

Over this past weekend, the Ottawa Senators lost at home to some of the best Western Conference teams, which was a nice change from losing to those same teams on the road. Things did not get any easier tonight as the Sens were in Chicago to take on the best of all the Western Conference teams

Determined not to suffer through another depressing game like on Friday, I took to the trusty Twitters to ask for suggestions for in-game events that would trigger refreshment in the form of beverage consumption; a sort of "Libation on the Board", if you will. Twitter did not disappoint. Here's some of the highlights of what we came up with:
  • Sens turnover in their own zone = 1 drink, as suggested by @Huge_Sensfan
  • Bobby Ryan falls down = 1 drink, as suggested by @lawbombs
  • Sens take a penalty = 1 drink, as suggested by @Tainted_Earth
  • Chris Phillips on the powerplay = 1 drink, as suggested by @LadouceurMike
  • Dean Brown yells "SCRAMBLLLLLLE!!" = 2 drinks, as suggested by @algibbons
  • Someone can't handle an Erik Karlsson pass = 2 drinks, as suggested by @MattMcK2419
  • Jason Spezza drop pass = 2 drinks, as suggested by @MyTwoSensWorth
  • Bench shot of bemused Robin Lehner = 3 drinks, as suggested by @chet_sellers
  • Denis Potvin says the word "Cheese" = 10 drinks, as suggested by @Wham_City
This seemed like a good idea at the time, because either I was going to enjoy some tasty beverages, or the Senators would be playing well. What could go wrong?

Here are my (unedited) game notes.

1st Period

20:00 - The Senators start Anderson in goal while the Blackhawks start Khabibulin, which I somehow spelled correctly on the first try. Things are looking up for me and the Sens!

16:57 - Zack Smith and Seabrook both go off for roughing leading to some 4-on-4 action. A minute later, Karlsson notes all the open ice he suddenly has and decides to go exploring. Unfortunately, he is not able to discover the net. He does confirm the ice is flat, however, so there's that.

14:17 - Kyle Turris saves a goal with some nifty stick work in the slot. "See, was that so hard, Jared?" says Turris. "You're very good at this. Have you thought about holding out?" responds Cowen sarcastically.

13:12 - Chris Neil takes a high sticking penalty, and Chicago scores approximately 7 tenths of a second later. I take a several drinks. Three because I have to, and a few more because I need it. 1 - 0 Blackhawks

7:18 - Patrick Sharp finds himself all alone in the slot after Ottawa's defense takes a laissez-faire approach to covering opposing players. While Adam Smith is pleased by this development, I am not. Luckily, Anderson bails out the Sens, thus maintaining my sanity.

0:59 - Bobby Ryan breaks into the Hawks' zone and tries to get through two players. While I'm watching him and hoping he doesn't fall down, Milan Michalek takes the puck and puts it where the crossbar and post meet! I drink in celebration of this rare event. 1 - 1 Tie

1st Period Impressions: The impression the Blackhawks are giving is that of a very high performance car driving in 2nd gear. The Sens are giving the impression of a 1993 Toyota Corolla on its last legs, but hey, the game is tied and the Blackhawks' goalie is still Khabibulin so I will be grateful for these small mercies.


2nd Period

15:03 - MacArthur draws a tripping penalty as he drives to the net. This worked so well that two minutes later he tries it again. Weircioch and Turris join him at the goalmouth, and Turris bangs it home. It was not the prettiest of goals, but as it turns out, you don't really care when you're drunk and oh God there's so much game left. 2 - 1 Sens

12:15 - After Ottawa blows a defensive coverage, Toews centers the puck to a wide open Hossa who puts it through Anderson's five-hole. This brings Hossa's stat line to 35 G and 71 A in 21 GP against Ottawa. 2 - 2 Tie 

9:41 - Joe Corvo shoots a knucklepuck from the point and gets it by Khabibulin. I have happy flashbacks to the 2007 Playoffs vs. Buffalo. Corvo looks as surprised as everyone else that the puck went in. 3 - 2 Sens

8:46 - While breaking in on a rush, Mika Zibanejad drags the puck through the slot and sneaks a shot past Khabibulin. Khabibulin is yanked and replaced by Crawford, which is kind of like replacing the original Dorothy lead in the your high school's production of The Wizard of Oz with Jennifer Lawrence. 4 - 2 Sens

5:30 - Sharp puts the puck on net and Anderson makes the save, but is taken out of the play by Milan Michalek. Toews pots the wrap-around as Anderson remains prostrate on the ice. Anderson is noted to have taken Michalek's knee to his head on the play. Michalek's knee is immediately taken to the quiet room for observation. 4 - 3 Sens

5:29.97 - Derek Grant takes a terrible penalty leading to several terrifying moments and a Dean Brown "SCRAMBLLLLLEEEE!" Somehow the puck stays out of Ottawa's net, but Dean's iconic call forces me to imbibe. It's the rules; I can't refuse.

1:35 - Patrick Sharp breaks in alone, but Anderson stacks the pads to maintain the Senators' 1 goal lead.  "That's the sort of save we'll look back on as a game saver!" I say without irony to no one in particular.

2nd Period Impressions: For what seems like the first time all year, Ottawa's goaltending was better than their opponents'. However, Chicago does not appear to be willing to take this "losing" business lying down, and I suspect Ottawa is going to have to muster their best effort to maintain their lead. Ceasing to allow the ever-dangerous Blackhawks odd-man rushes would be an excellent start.


3rd Period

18:40 - Johnny Oduya centres to a bafflingly open Jonathan Toews who taps the puck past Anderson. "Don't worry about covering that guy! He's not even their best player!" says Paul Maclean regarding Toews. 4 - 4 Tie

17:10 - Conacher takes a feed from Condra in the slot, but Conacher can't bury it. Clearly The Aura of Condra was still too strong around the puck. Watch for Condra to only provide secondary assists from now on.

10:47 - Chicago breaks into the Ottawa zone, strings together a few Harlem Globetrotters passes, and Toews is there to finish off the play. Reports that all five Ottawa skaters were just watching Hossa spin the puck on the end of his stick cannot be verified at this time. 5 - 4 Blackhawks

8:17 - Clarke MacArthur is named the hardest working Senator, and deservedly so. The Corpse of One-Eyed Frank McGee is named the 2nd hardest working Senator.

5:52 - Andrew Shaw extends Chicago's lead to two. I become upset that Chicago players I've never heard of are scoring now. This must be how Montreal felt when Pageau got his hat trick. #NoRispeck 6 - 4 Blackhawks

5:37 - Zack Smith randomly snipes a goal to bring Ottawa back to within one goal. Everyone gets excited about this because they are weak and credulously optimistic. 6 - 5 Blackhawks

0:57 - Ottawa pulls Anderson but can't tie the game. I decide I don't need a "game" to drink any more. 


Closing Thoughts

Even though Ottawa once led by two goals, the lead never felt secure. Ottawa's story remains the same: passages of competent Senators play is followed up with blown defensive coverage, and general system breakdown. It's a long season, and I expect the team to improve (they can hardly get worse), but it's frustrating to watch Ottawa play this poorly when we saw them do more with less last season.

Bring on the Eastern Conference. We need it.

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