Game Summary - Game 51: Senators Tie Game, Lose Skills Competition to Tampa Bay

By Luke Peristy

As the two teams that joined the NHL in 1992, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators will forever be inexorably linked. The similarities begin in their choices of alternate jerseys where in lieu of a logo, the jerseys sport the nickname of the team in words, something which everyone agrees is a terrible decision.

We play for the words on the front, not the name on the back.

While separated by geography, both franchises share a sort of spiritual connection and think of each other like brothers. Like the Romulus and Remus of the NHL, they are the central characters in the Myth of The Creation of Bettman's NHL. Nowhere is this more clear than at the Tampa Bay Times Forum where there is a magnificent sculpture of a two hockey players suckling at the teat of Wolf Gary Bettman. Bettman commissioned the statue himself. If you are ever in Tampa, you simply must see it.

In tonight's game, Craig Anderson started against his former backup Ben Bishop. Coach Paul Maclean stated he wanted the Senators to exploit Bishop's poor movement, as Bishop can only move diagonally*. Would the Senators be successful? Let's find out!

*I'm really sorry.

1st Period

17:35 - Denis Potvin relays an anecdote about Jason Spezza thinking about changing up his stick like "a golfer trying a new putter". Save the golfing metaphors for the Leafs, Denis!

16:08 - Shots are already 9-1 in favour of Tampa Bay. Craig Anderson has been looking confident so far, however. He's really had a pep in his step lately. I think it's his new haircut.

11:11 - Erik Karlsson tries to do it himself, breaking in 1-on-4 after picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone. Bishop makes a glove save. Given how huge Bishop is, it seems kind of unfair that he's got reflexes as well. He's like a better version of J.S. Giguere.

8:40 - After a lacklustre start to the game, Ottawa is given a powerplay as part of a government initiative to support teams whose possession stats are struggling. Milan Michalek and Bobby Ryan each get a quality chance, but can't score. Another victory for Adam Smith. Keynesians try to develop a new model. #ThanksObama.

5:38 - After Milan Michalek draws a penalty, Ottawa loses the ensuing faceoff and Tyler Johnson streaks past Bobby Ryan into the Ottawa zone and gets the puck over Anderson's glove and into the top of the net. Policy makers begin to discuss suspending all further powerplay aid to Ottawa. 1 - 0 Tampa Bay

4:48 - After the Lighting's shorthanded goal Ottawa remains on the powerplay. Erik Karlsson pinches low as he is wont to do, finds a Jason Spezza rebound on his stick, and ties the game. For more on this story, see Don Brennan's article. 1 - 1 Tie

A Haiku About the 1st Period
Slow start for the Sens.
Thank goodness for Anderson
and Erik Karlsson. 

2nd Period

18:15 - Valtteri Filppula splits Ceci and Phillips, but Anderson manages to will the puck out of the net. Tampa Bay decides they'll have to adopt a new strategy since Anderson seems to be expecting them to shoot at the net and is playing accordingly.

16:30 - A Victor Hedman shot deflects off of Crombeen's skate and past Anderson. This perfectly cromulent goal embiggens Tampa Bay's score. 2 - 1 Tampa Bay

11:12 - So far in the 2nd, Ottawa's taking shots like it's Happy Hour at the Betty Ford Center.

7:28 - Gryba and St. Louis battle for a puck in the neutral zone. Both players fall down. We'll call it a draw. What we can learn from this is that St. Louis is 9 inches better at hockey than Eric Gryba.

5:42 - Paul Maclean breaks up the Smith-Spezza-Condra line. Paul Maclean is the Yoko Ono of the Smith-Spezza-Condra line. Well, actually Paul Maclean is the Yoko Ono of all the lines.

4:53 - Kyle Turris draws a penalty. Despite the powerplay largely resembling a frat house the day after a kegger, Jason Spezza manages to find Clarke MacArthur behind the couch who ensures that the event breaks even. MacArthur displays great patience on the goal as he waits for Bishop to fall asleep before snapping the puck home. 2 - 2 Tie

A Haiku About the 2nd Period
2nd like the 1st.
Clarke MacArthur's the hero
And Spezza helped too.

3rd Period

14:29 - Ottawa gets caught deep in the Tampa Bay zone and the Lightning come out on a 4-on-2. The initial chance is broken up by Ottawa, but St. Louis finds Palat with a back door pass and it's 3 - 2 Tampa Bay. So like Ottawa to leave the back door open. You just don't expect that anything bad's going to happen to you, ya know?

12:50 - Kyle Turris takes a shot on a 2-on-1 with Clarke MacArthur, but can only fire the puck into Ben Bishop's midsection. To be fair, Ben Bishop's midsection is basically the size of Cory Conacher.

11:50 - Paul Maclean sends out Erik Karlsson with the MacArthur-Turris-Ryan line and the move pays immediate dividends with Ottawa getting some of their best pressure of the night. I doubt these line combinations will continue, however, because this ain't no All-Star Game.

7:04 - Chris Phillips takes a penalty that's weak like an Ontario Gew├╝rztraminer. The Senators kill it off mainly by cooking with it for the next several weeks.

2:05 - Just as I'm cursing Paul Maclean for sending out the 4th line as time is running out, Chris Neil finds a loose puck at the side of the Tampa Bay net and scoops it past Bishop. I predicted in our podcast that Neil would score his 100th goal in momentous circumstances, so obviously this is proof of my genius. 3 - 3 Tie

2.3 - Kyle Turris, as he has so many times before (ok, maybe only once before) tries to be the hero by sniping glove side. Annoyingly, Bishop makes the save and we go to overtime.


3:37 - Jared Cowen gets beaten to the front of the Ottawa net by Filppula which nearly results in a swift end to the overtime period. Craig Anderson keeps it out, however, and play continues. Guess that means there won't be angry Jared Cowen-related calls to the TSN1200 post-game show after all. Ian Mendes sends Anderson a fruit basket.

1:51 - Cody Ceci takes a tripping penalty. Upon further review, it turns out that Tampa Bay had tripped themselves. There is no actual review for penalties, but if there was, I'm sure that penalty would not be referred to as "a good penalty". One of the best chances during the Lightning's powerplay happens to Kyle Turris, but he is unable to bury a wrap-around chance. The Senators heroically kill off the penalty and the game goes to the coin flip shootout.

Shootout - Kucherov scores for Tampa Bay with the first shot of the shootout, and it holds up as the winner as Ben Bishop makes all three stops. It makes me ask the question: what is the point of trading a goalie if you're not going to remember his tendencies when you play him in the shootout later?

The Wisdom

Ottawa did not bring their A-game tonight. Hell, I'm not even sure they brought their B-game. However, they still managed to do just enough to gut out a point and even had chances to win the game. They got stronger as the game went on and showed great resiliency to keep pace in a game that they never led. It was a performance they can build on as they face the Carolina Hurricanes either tomorrow night or Saturday afternoon. It's not like the schedule is set in stone or anything...
Powered by Blogger.