Game Summary - Game 31: Ottawa Beats Philly in Shootout, Restores Hope

By Luke Peristy

It's time.

We knew that after Ray Emery's girlfriend Keshia Chanté went after Robin Lehner on Twitter, it was only a matter of time until we got the goalie fight we all wanted. Well, that time is now. I, for one, have been buzzing with anticipation all day while I wait for Robin "The" Lehner to go toe-to-toe with "Razor" Ray Emer-...wait, what's that?

Sorry, I've just been informed that Ray Emery had a "passport issue" and won't be getting the start in Ottawa. Passport issues, of course, were one of Floyd "Money" Mayweather's many excuses to avoid fighting Manny Pacquiao, so I think we can all tell what's going on here.

In order to further reduce the threat of violence in tonight's game, Craig "The Pacifist" Anderson is starting for Ottawa. This is just like the time Paddy Ryan's rematch against John L. Sullivan for the 1886 Heavyweight Championship was bumped in favour of a pennyfarthing race between William "Big Wheels" McHutchison and J. P. "Crazy Legs" Rochester. I guess if you want to see fighting, you'll have to get it from the usual source: Matt Kassian. I can just imagine tomorrow's headlines.

Incredulous fan: "I went to a hockey game and a hockey game broke out!"

Ok, I think that pretty much exhausts all my fighting jokes. This will likely be the last time Ottawa plays Philadelphia this season, so join me while I recap tonight's game and try to use up the rest of my "Philly Cheesesteak" jokes.

1st Period

17:55 - Spezza and MacArthur work a give-and-go that results in an early chance for Spezza. Spezza sends a one-timer off Mason's blocker. "That's why they call me The Stone Mason!" quips Steve. His teammates merely shake their heads.

16:27 - Erik Karlsson does One of Those Erik Karlsson things and joins a 3-on-2.5 rush. Ultimately, Karlsson is only able to send a poor-angle shot off Mason's pad, but as Wayne Gretzky once said, "You don't get Corsi-credited for 100% of the shots you don't take."

11:42 - Wayne Simmonds drives the net on a harmless looking play, but Michael Raffl is on hand to poke a loose puck past Craig Anderson. As it's his first NHL goal, Raffl is rightly in a celebratory mood. He yells, "Looks like you've just bought a ticket for the Raffl . . . er . . . I mean, looks like you just won the Raffl - DAMMIT I'VE BEEN WAITING TO SAY THAT LINE FOR YEARS DON'T YOU SKATE AWAY FROM ME." 1 - 0 Flyers.

10:37 - Matt Kassian and Jay Rosehill have a fight. Her honour finally defended, Keshia Chanté waves her handkerchief adoringly towards Rosehill from somewhere in the 400-Level boxes.

9:23 - Clarke MacArthur gets behind the Philadelphia defense while chasing down a loose puck and slides the puck past Steve Mason. "Hey Steve, maybe you'll get pulled and then they'll call you The Free Mason!" taunts MacArthur. Wayne Simmonds then attempts to explain The Illuminati Conspiracy to a bemused MacArthur before the lively discussion is broken up by the linesman.  1 - 1.

10.4 - Sean Couturier and Kyle Turris have A Gentleman's Disagreement over who is the rightful possessor of the puck in the Flyers' zone. Fisticuffs ensue and they are separated by the Sporting Arbiters and required to retire to the dressing parlor. The puck weeps in the corner as its mother tsks that "no good will come of these ruffians."

Meditations on the 1st Period of Play: I'm not saying this was an unremarkable period, but I thought the most exciting part was when Dean Brown announced "Robin Lehner loves trees because he has dogs, and for dogs, an extra tree in the yard is like having an extra bathroom in the house." Denis Potvin then wondered aloud what fire hydrants were analogous to. Dean Brown also said that newspaper boxes were like "Home Depots for birds," grassy fields were like "Bed, Bath, and Beyond for horses," and rocks were like "carpets for fish." Dean Brown is a fascinating man.

2nd Period

19:16 - Brayden Coburn takes a "puck over the glass" penalty. Ottawa fails to score, but doesn't look like a completely unmitigated bag of fail while enjoying their man advantage. "That poor puck has been through so much. No sense in subjecting it to the horrors that lay within the net so soon after it was sent out of play," explains an empathetic Chris Phillips.

10:30 - Patrick Wiercioch scores from all alone in front of the Philadelphia net after Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan work a little bit of magic on the power play. Remembering that he should show leadership at a time like this, Jason Spezza takes to coaching the team. "That was great, Bobby, but you're supposed to pass it to Patrick between your legs. Let's run it again, everyone!" 2 - 1 Senators.

9:11 - Marc Methot takes an interference penalty during a rare offensive chance for Philadelphia. Jakub Voracek scores for Philadelphia during the ensuing power play. Cory Conacher looks confused on the bench as he was sure that "Voracek" was a type of Pokemon. 2 - 2.

6:29 - Luke Schenn slaps a puck on net which beats a screened Anderson high. "Wait, that was the crappy Schenn? Oh man, I'm so sorry guys. I'll do better next time," says an embarrassed Anderson. 3 - 2 Flyers.

1:15 - Sens fans in attendance start a "Go Sens Go" chant. Those fans have sure got some moxie! Best group of 12,000 fans this side of New Jersey, I tell ya!

Meditations on the 2nd Period of Play: I was sure Voracek was a type of Pokemon, too. "Your Meszaros has evolved into Voracek!" I'm sure that was a thing. Ottawa's problems remain plain to see: they must force the other team to score less while simultaneously scoring more goals themselves. While this may sound simple in principle, empirical evidence suggests it's actually quite difficult. Let's see if they figure it out in the 3rd period.

3rd Period

17:39 - Bobby Ryan sends a shot in on Mason where it deflects off his pad, then bounces off Clarke MacArthur and into the net. Denis Potvin anoints MacArthur as "Clarke MacArthur Who Heals All." Colin Greening reaches out to touch the hem of MacArthur's jersey in order to have his scoring touch restored. This is biblical stuff! 3 - 3.

11:39 - Kyle Turris picks up a loose puck in the defensive zone and then gets on his horse. He breaks into the Philly zone with Michalek and Jared Cowen (seriously!) and fires a shot on net. The puck deflects off of a Philadelphia skate and into the net. Turris' horse performs a perfect dressage pirouette and bows. 4 - 3 Senators.

10:28 - Bobby Ryan does A Bobby Ryan Thing by making the puck disappear and then pulling it out of a Philadelphia defenseman's ear. The Senators nearly score on the play. The adoring Ottawa crowd chants "Bobby." Real original, guys.

9:02 - Kimmo Timonen floats a long shot from the point which fools Anderson. Anderson is visibly disappointed that he's allowed the goal. He's not the only one. 4 - 4.

5:38 - Craig Anderson makes a huge glove save on Voracek to keep the game tied. "Anderson used 'Quick Glove Attack'. It's super-effective!" says Conacher. Voracek is confused. Voracek's teammates gather around him to prevent him from hurting himself in confusion.

0:55 - Craig Anderson continues to spin on his head and makes two more big saves to keep the game tied. "Can't make the clutch saves unless you let the other team score enough to make it a clutch situation, guys," he explains. Can't argue with that.

0:00 - Regulation ends in a 4 - 4 tie and we head to overtime for the second game in a row.


1:47 - Erik Karlsson turns on the afterburners to break up a Philadelphia 2-on-1. The excellence of this defensive play cannot be overstated. I'm waiting for Karlsson to melt an opposing forward with his laser vision at this point. His powers cannot be contained by this world.

0:00 - OT solves nothing and we move to the shootout skills competition. After Clarke MacArthur, Matt Read, Bobby Ryan, and Claude Giroux all fail to score, Jason Spezza pulls out a move that can only be described as Faustian. You read that correctly; the quality of Jason Spezza's shootout move was so pure, I doubt that he retains ownership of his own soul. Totally worth it, though. Sean Couturier fails to score for the Flyers, and as Bryan Murray looks down from the press box at Mika Zibanejad at the end of Ottawa's bench, a wave of contentedness washes over him in the knowledge that he drafted the right guy after all.

Senators Win 5 - 4 in a shootout! Really!

The Wisdom

Don't be fooled by the scoreboard. This was one of Ottawa's most complete games of the season in my estimation. They looked solid defensively and competed hard from start to finish. Craig Anderson was the only reason the game was as close as it was, and I mean that as both praise and criticism. While Andy had a rough night, he also managed to get himself out of some jams in the late game. Ottawa's dominated possession in their last few games and it was good to see them finally get rewarded for it. If the team was getting as antsy as the fans, they really needed that one. Ottawa will try to do the same thing tomorrow night against a team with worse skaters and better goaltending: the Buffalo Sabres.
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