Game Summary: Game 8 - Ottawa smokes a Dubnyk but loses 3-1 to Edmonton

by Bonk's Mullet

Ottawa came into Saturday afternoon's game looking to extend their winning streak to three games, while Edmonton came in looking to extend their smash hit television show, "Oil Change" to five seasons. Earlier in the week, Paul MacLean gave Stephane Da Costa his farewell bisous as he was sent down to the minors, while the team finally gave the fans what they were asking for and recalled highly touted prospect Derek Grant.

On the broadcast front, the all-Canadian Saturday match-up that we've come to value as a rich Canadian tradition for decades was naturally passed up by CBC for the Artistic Gymnastics World Championship in Belgium. Congrats to Guillaume Latendresse on his bronze medal! Now on to the game...

1st Period

  • Ottawa dressed career backup Robin Lehner in net (.957), while Edmonton went with franchise goaltender Devan Dubnyk (.854).
  • Early on, Spezza made an incredible play that went unnoticed on the broadcast. The puck was passed back to him at the point, where he wound up for a slapshot and faked one-timing the puck, missing on purpose. The puck slid past him directly onto the stick of Erik Karlsson, who took a shot on goal, although Devan Dubnyk wouldn't have been able to tell you that. No goal on the play, but I thought it was neat.
  • Minutes later, Spezza made an incredibly boneheaded play that definitely went noticed on the broadcast. Covering for Methot at the point, Spezza made a bad pinch which allowed the Oilers to come in on a 2-on-1, where Eberle caught Lehner cheating on the pass and tucked it in short side. 1-0 Oilers
  • In response to the goal, MacLean told the team to keep it simple and to stick to what they do best, so the team took two straight penalties.
  • On the second powerplay, Nail Yakupov stunned Lehner with a shot, mostly because Lehner was surprised "Healthy-Scratchupov" was in the lineup. Ryan "Ted" Nugent-Hopkins buried the rebound to make it 2-0 Oilers.
  • At the other end of the ice, Devan Dubnyk appeared to be lagging a second behind the play for the entire first period. Thanks for nothing, Bell Fibe. /slams down Xbox controller
  • Near the end of the period, Bobby Ryan lost his balance and awkwardly rammed his leg into the post, causing him to limp off the ice in pain. Eugene Melnyk has since launched an investigation into who put those nets there.
  • With Ryan gone, I watched the rest of the period through my tear-soaked hands, so I'm not really sure what happened.
  • In the first intermission, a glassy-eyed Eugene Melnyk made a desperate plea for Sens fans to buy tickets. He said the team would be making a full-fledged effort to offer incentives to come to the games live rather than watching them at home, but that so far the "Healthy Scratch Kissing Booth" hasn't tested well with focus groups.

2nd Period

  • I reevaluated my decision to eat an entire tub of Ben and Jerry's "Guimauve Pecandresse" in the first intermission as Ryan returned for the start of the second.
  • Down by two, Paul MacLean turned to his core leadership group to step up for the team, so both Spezza and Karlsson took early penalties in the second.
  • Ottawa managed to outshoot Edmonton over the course of the two penalty kills, which Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins later referred to as a "significant improvement" to their powerplay.
  • Eric Gryba caught Taylor Hall knee-on-knee, causing Hall to take a one-handed swing at the back of Gryba's legs. Luckily the referees managed to restrain Gryba by the time he had pulled out his cross-bow.
  • On two straight powerplays, Chris Phillips managed to rifle off three or four solid shot attempts on net. This prompted Dean Brown to say, "someone may want to get on Phillips unless they want to let him shoot all day," as coaches around the league started furiously scribbling in their notebooks about Edmonton's new fail-proof PK strategy.
  • After serving his penalty for the slash, Hall left the game with a knee injury, as I offered a pile of wet tissues to my friends from Edmonton.

3rd Period

  • Ottawa really stepped up and stuck to their game plan in the third period as both Milan Michalek and Jared Cowen took penalties on the same play only three minutes in.
  • To give you an idea of how potent Edmonton's offence was after their two goals in the first, Zack Smith had the best chance of the 5-on-3.
  • The only thing I have in my notes for the entire middle section of the third period is "Is Devan Dubnyk Jesus?"
  • With only six minutes to go, Chris Neil does what Chris Neil does best and makes an ill-advised cross-check. Luckily the cross-check was on the puck and it somehow found its way past Jesus Dubnyk, making it 2-1 Oilers.
  • Minutes later, Perron delivered a post-whistle snow shower to Robin Lehner, prompting the Senators to pile on top of Perron to thank him for giving Lehner his first shower of the season.
  • On what seemed like Edmonton's third shot of the game, Nugent-Hopkins sealed the deal on the empty net with a minute to go. 3-1 Oilers

Closing Thoughts

Echoing the thoughts of Paul MacLean, this was actually Ottawa's most complete 60 minutes of the season. They peppered Dubnyk like a fine steak and were relatively solid in their own end all night. That being said, there was a relative lack of grade-A scoring chances for the Senators, and I'm not sure there was one crisp tape-to-tape pass on the powerplay all night. This game was essentially the exact opposite of the opener against the Devils, and it hurt to give up an easy win.

Bonk's Bums: Ottawa got its first poor performance of the season from Robin Lehner as the two early goals silenced the crowd and crippled the team.

Mullet's Valuable Player: MacArthur-Turris-Ryan continue to totally dominate the opposition. MacArthur is the best 5-on-5 possession player in the league so far, with Turris in 6th, despite starting only one out of every three shifts in the offensive zone(!).

Suggested Headline: Dub Stepped Up

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