Game Summary - Game 76: Alexei Yashin's Former Team @ Alexei Yashin's More Former Team

By Luke Peristy

"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." - Michael Corleone in The Godfather: Part III

Those words, originally said in a movie about the criminal underworld, are being said by Sens fans everywhere right now. While the comparison of the Senators playoff hopes to the Cosa Nostra may not be altogether flattering one (for either the Senators or the Mafia), there's no doubt this quote applies at the moment. Ottawa has put together a nice little streak, staved off mathematical elimination for an extra week and a half, and turned what once seemed like an impossibility into a mere extreme improbability. Playing out the string has turned into stringing us along, and I, for one, am not having any of it. As much fun as it's been to cheer for a team that's finally playing its best hockey once they needn't have bothered, I am becoming increasingly aware of the need to steel myself in anticipation of the axe that will inevitably fall on the Senators and their playoff hopes, much like we must all eventually face our own mortality as we shuffle off this mortal coil.

Oh, who am I kidding!?


*Charges into rest of game recap*

*Readers kind of just stand around and shrug* 

1st Period

20:00 - Anders Nilsson starts in goal for the Islanders. He faces his child in Craig, Anders' Son. Martin Brodeur will be asking Nilsson for advice about playing against your son next season, I'm sure.

16:45 - After Matt Kassian draws a penalty (not with a pencil and paper for a change), Mark Stone gets the puck with an open net, but fires it into the boards. Following the play, Mark Stone has harsh words for his teammates. "Uh yeah, guys? I expect to get the puck 3 feet over to the right so then I don't just miss the net, so try to get me the puck right in that spot rather than slightly to the left." Mark Stone, apparently, is a major prima donna.

14:44 - Craig Anderson sprawls to make a save with his blocker hand. Gord Miller says the save is reminiscent of Dominik Hasek, so prepare for Ottawa's goaltending to abandon it when they need it most. Hey, wait a second...

5:49 - Ales Hemsky springs Mika Zibanejad on a semi-breakaway. Mika doesn't score, but he does draw a penalty on the play. "Uh...I taught him that." says Matt Kassian on the bench.

5:10 - Ottawa gets scrambly in their own zone as Mark Stone takes a penalty to save a goal. "I gotta do everything for you guys!", says an increasingly upset Stone. "First you can't get me the puck where I want it, now I gotta do Chris Phillips's job? Geez!"

4:40 - Hemsky and Zibanejad again try to play hot potato with the puck, resulting in a nice looking scoring chance, but no actual shot. Zibanejad and Hemsky are basically an obnoxiously cute couple at this point. "You take the shot!" "No, you take the shot!" "Noooo....YOU take the shot!" It's so nauseating.

3:39 - Zack Smith takes a penalty for high sticking. I guess when you knock a guy's helmet clean off his head, it's probably high sticking. Ottawa is now at a 5-on-3 disadvantage for 30 seconds. After Mark Stone gets out of the box, Josh Bailey scores on a well set up shot from the slot. 1 - 0 Islanders

TSN Panel Discussion: "Should Erik Karlsson win the Norris or the Hart?" "Is Paul Maclean on thin ice, thick ice, or on notice?"

2nd Period

18:00 - At the first whistle, TSN says that the last NHL team that had a year-to-year GAA increase over 1 goal was a Winnipeg Jets team that Paul Maclean played for. "Since Paul Maclean is the one constant between those two teams, I'm assuming it's his fault." - Eugene Melnyk a month from now.

16:37 - Mark Stone takes a Turris feed, but misses the net from the high slot. "I'm telling you guys, usually I play with the net three feed to the left," explains Stone to anyone who will listen.

15:20 - Hemsky and Zibanejad keep on doing the passing thing that doesn't result in a shot. "Guys...I'm RIGHT here!" says an increasingly frustrated Milan Michalek.

10:14 - Paul Maclean's doppelganger, The MacClone, is spotted behind the Ottawa bench. As The MacClone chugs a beer on live television, the thought occurs to me that perhaps the MacClone is a physical manifestation of Paul Maclean's secret desires. If he shows up behind the bench in sweatpants next game, I think we'll have our answer.

9:22 - Mika Zibanejad is hauled down, and goes to the box for holding. Things get worse for Mika as he can't find the penalty box. Then no one tells him how long his penalty is supposed to last. Then he is seduced by...Look, just read The Trial by Franz Kafka. It's very good.

1:27 - After a long stretch of time during which nothing interesting happens, Ottawa gets a powerplay. They don't score on the powerplay, of course, but in this game, the possibility that something good might happen counts as a noteworthy event.

TSN Panel Discussion: "Was that period boring, or what?" *cut to table of skeletons all covered in cobwebs*

3rd Period

20:00 - Paul MacLean sends out Hoffman-Smith-Neil on the powerplay to start the period. I get the sinking feeling it's going to be "one of those periods."

13:19 - Following a scramble during a Sens powerplay, Milan Michalek finds the puck and pokes it home. 1 - 1 Tie It's a classic Milan Michalek goal where he's going hard to the net, playing physical, gets to the dirty areas of the ice, outworks his opponents, and really plays with that grit and sandpaper that he's known for.

11:35 - Kyle Turris gets a shorthanded breakaway, but he can't convert. A minute later Casey Cizikas scores on a scramble in front of the Ottawa net, restoring the Islanders' lead. 2 - 1 Islanders Cizikas may have the last laugh for now, but at the end of the day, he still has to play for the Islanders.

8:45 - Erik Karlsson has just 3 shifts so far in the period says TSN. I'm going to assume he's injured. Dammit, Spezza! That's not what we meant by "leading by example"!

1:37 - Time winding down. Better send out Hoffman-Smith-Neil. It's not very effective.

0.0 - The Sens can't score with the extra attacker. Is that because the extra attacker was Chris Neil? I'll let you decide. (But the answer is yes.)

The Wisdom

Ottawa's playoff chances just got bonked on the head by a man with a large club.
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