Game Summary - Game 19: Senators Secondary Scoring Spurs Success Over Boston

By Luke Peristy

Remember this past Tuesday afternoon?

I do.

It was a time filled with hope, and promise, and the opportunity for the Ottawa Senators to extend their winning streak to four games against a struggling Philadelphia Flyers team. Then the game happened. Hope turned to sorrow, frustrations were expressed, and everyone agreed to never again talk about what they had seen.

Following that atrocity, the Senators had three days off to think about what they'd done. Word out of practice was that the team spent a lot of time practicing breakouts in preparation for tonight's game against the Boston Bruins. This is good, because Boston is exactly the sort of robotic and positionally-sound hockey team that feasts on puck movement that is, uh, how shall I put this..."too Cowen-y".

Boston plays a style of hockey that Stalin would be proud of, which is to say that it's cold, heartless, and brutal in its effectiveness. From their ruthless efficiency on the ice to their utter lack of controversy off of it, the Bruins are hockey's version of the T-1000. In fact, it's become clear Peter Chiarelli will trade you simply for having too much personality. How much personality is too much, you ask? The answer, impossibly, is "Phil Kessel". Poor Tyler Seguin never had a chance.

So, how did Ottawa's team of interesting individuals stack up against Boston's Corsi Killbots? Let's find out.

1st Period

20:00 - Paul Maclean starts Craig Anderson in net, owing to his controversial "Get shelled by the Metropolitan Division and you're in" policy. Boston counters with Tuukka Rask, whose 1.52 GAA and .948 SV% is more obscene than a Rob Ford press conference.

16:40 - Anderson looks sharp early as he makes a nice blocker save off a Bergeron one-timer from the high slot. Knowing that Anderson is able to stop those, the Senators make a point of not covering that area very closely for the rest of the night.

15:02 - Kyle Turris dangles through two Bruins on his way into the offensive zone but can't get a shot off while being lightly hooked from behind. Some Sens fans were looking for a penalty on the play, but I think we all know NHL referees aren't wiling to get involved in a game unless absolutely necessary. "Absolutely necessary" means "Chris Neil does anything" this season, by the way.

13:57 - Bergeron beats Spezza off the draw and gets the puck back to Bartkowski, whose point shot deflects off Loui Eriksson's stick and past Anderson. That sequence of events may sound fortuitous for Boston, and it was. It's literally been weeks since Boston won a championship though, so it's nice for something good to happen to them for a change.  1 - 0 Boston

10:10 - Brad Marchand weaves through Colin Greening and Zack Smith before sniping a goal past Anderson's glove. Greening and Smith were supposed to be part of Ottawa's checking line tonight, but appear to actually be part of the "Stand around and kind of wave at the puck a bit" line instead. 2 - 0 Boston

8:25 - The Maclone is shown to be sitting in the stands directly behind Paul Maclean. Last year I thought that it was sort of cool when that happened, but now I worry that it's ominous foreshadowing.

0:50 - Chris Neil misses Torey Krug with a hit but doesn't give up on the play and intercepts a Bruins breakout pass to rip it past Tuukka Rask a few seconds later. Brad Marchand is noted to have been yapping at the Senators' bench on the play, which just goes to show that pests like Marchand can sometimes be a disadvantage. What you want is guys like Chris Neil on your team. 2 - 1 Boston

Oh my God, did you guys know about visors? I can see the net now! (courtesy Senators Extra)

1st Period Impressions: Ottawa spent long stretches of play without being able to generate anything offensively. However, Chris Neil's best shift of the year brought the Senators back to within a goal, and changed momentum in a way that a fight never could: by affecting the scoreboard.

2nd Period

16:55 - Mark Borowiecki draws a hooking penalty. Ottawa generates a few chances on the power play but can't score. Phillips is on a power play pairing with Karlsson because Paul MacLean is all about his Mustache Brothers, or "Mo-Bros" as he calls them.

11:10 - Paul MacLean starts double-shifting Jason Spezza. The move almost pays immediate dividends as Turris and Spezza break in on a 2-on-1. Unfortunately, Zdeno Chara uses his giant, novelty-size hockey stick to break the play up from the far blue line.

10:00 - Dean Brown inaccurately refers to Borowiecki as "Bochenski". Not sure how he made this mistake since Borowiecki is one of the few players who hasn't played on Spezza's wing yet.

8:18 - Zack Smith is called for a tripping penalty because hip checks are tripping now, according to tonight's refs. An enraged Clarke MacArthur immediately flies up the ice with the puck which he uses as an excuse to skate right into Rask. MacArthur did apologize afterwards, but I'm sure it was sarcastic as Clarke MacArthur has a bad boy image to maintain.

6:35 - Craig Anderson makes a huge toe save during a scramble in front of the Ottawa net. The Canadian Tire Place crowd gives Anderson a standing ovation. Anderson tries to make #BeastToe a thing until Methot and Kassian talk him out of it.

"#AndersonEyes . . . no, wait, #AndersonFacts . . . nah, let's just go with #NumberOneGoaltender." (courtesy Senators Extra)

2:38 - Spezza is seen on a line with Grant and Greening after Paul MacLean decides that alliteration is the key to getting Spezza going.

2nd Period Impressions: Ottawa looked better during the 2nd than they did during the 1st, but still went through stretches of being thoroughly out-possessed. Shots are 22-13 in favour of Boston after two, which is the sort of differential that rarely leads to winning hockey unless you're the Toronto Maple Leafs, and even then, you can only expect to beat Boston for so long . . .

3rd Period

18:28 - Jason Spezza takes a perfect feed from Erik Karlsson at the side of the net and puts the puck past a sprawling Rask. Milan Michalek records a secondary assist on the goal which thrills the scouts in attendance.  2 - 2  Tie

14:55 - After a scramble in front of the Ottawa net, Soderberg pokes the puck past Anderson well after the whistle has been blown. There is still a video review of the play because if there's one thing that the NHL has learned from the NFL, it's that fans want more time-consuming video replays.

14:18 - Jared Cowen picks up a loose puck in the offensive zone and blasts a slapper past Rask like it was the easiest thing ever. "Boo-yah! That's what $3.1 Million buys you, baby!" yells Cowen as he points at Eugene Melnyk in the Owner's Box. 3 - 2 Ottawa

9:49 - Bobby Ryan emulates the play of Chris Neil by forcing a turnover at the Bruins blue line and getting a shot past Rask. Ryan's reputation apparently precedes him as Rask doesn't really make much of an attempt to cover the lower half of the net. After watching Ryan snipe all those goals top shelf, I can't say I blame him.  4 - 2 Ottawa

3:43 - Bobby Ryan takes an elbow directly to the face from Dennis Seidenberg. #OttawaRoars in outrage.

0:50 - Boston pulls Rask, but can't score. "See, beating Boston isn't that hard." Craig Anderson tells Robin Lehner on the way off the ice. 4 - 2 Ottawa wins

Closing Thoughts

Ottawa started (very) slowly, but improved as the game went on and won going away. Boston was on the second game of a back-to-back, which could partly explain their somewhat uninspiring finish to the game. Ultimately, it was Ottawa's full team effort, getting goals from some expected and unexpected places, that proved the difference. Craig Anderson also deserves a lot of credit for keeping the team in the game even when they were being outshot. Like a lot of Senators victories this season, this was not always a pretty game, but Ottawa's ability to grind out points will serve them well later in the season when hopefully their level of play and consistency has improved.

Craig Anderson poses for post-game pictures.

Ottawa's next game is against Columbus on Sunday afternoon. Watch for Robin Lehner to start that game, because there's no way Nick Foligno's gonna try to interfere with that guy.
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