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Some Puck Luck

Posted By Mika Oehling On Dec 17 2010 @ 10:21 am In Ottawa Senators | No Comments

The Ottawa Senators finally got some puck luck last night in their 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild, which is sure to be a morale-booster as December rolls on. After a great effort against Atlanta that didn’t produce a win, Ottawa found a way to overcome that bittersweet defeat and keep rolling.  They fought hard and were quick on the puck and they finally got what they deserved: a clear, decisive win.

They also got a chance to impress their dads. A few of the Senators fathers were in attendance last night, such as Mr. Alfredsson, Mr. Fisher and Mr. Kuba, who was seeing an NHL game for the first time in his life. Armed with little English and a stellar Czech hat, it was a special night for Mr. Kuba, who never really thought that he would have the chance to see his son play on such a large stage. Mr. Alfredsson, for his part, has been to many of these games, but he still looks impressed and with good reason.

Alfredsson scored a great power play goal to kick off the team in the second period. It was a game that started off badly for Ottawa; the first period was marred with penalties and an early goal from Brodziak in the first seemed to discourage the team. Two penalties were called in short order for Gonchar and Ruutu, leading to an early 5 on 3 opportunity for the Wild when they were already in the lead. But a good blocked shot by Phillips and some solid saves from Leclaire helped the team stay in the game and the Sens came back aggressively in the second.

The turning point of the game came when Brodziak scored what looked like his second goal of the night, only to have it waved off by the officials on a late too many men call on the Wild. This goal to steal the lead after Alfredsson’s shot could have been the early nail in the coffin, but the team rallied back with a sharp goal from Foligno and the Sens were up.  An empty netter by Kelly in the third was the cherry on top.

Good effort by Erik Karlsson, who rallied for 2 points on the night as well as some solid defense, and 2 blocked shots from Phillips to help out Leclaire, led to this team win. Milan Michalek also had a good night, despite his lack of points, drawing penalties and charging the net early on. It appears that Phillips has stepped up to silence his critics and make up for Carkner’s absence, who was injured in practice. His compete level on the night was impressive.

Brian Lee, playing for the injured Carkner, did a good job of coming in and laying some checks. For a Western Conference team, the Wild didn’t play an overly physical game on the night. There were a couple of hard hits, but no serious bruisers or fisticuffs. Jose Theodore also played a solid game for the Wild, but he had little chance on Alfie’s sneak goal or Foligno’s zinger.

It was definitely more a game of chance rather than pure hockey skill last night, as some shots mysteriously took that weird bounce and out for both teams and full out schnozzles in front of the net resulted in confusion, but no goals. Upon review, the too many men call was legitimate, but rare. It was called late after the play and the goal had already been scored. Still, better late than never on penalty calls, and that might have been the end for the team’s already fragile morale.

The Senators picked up a well-deserved win, but they still have to be careful about taking penalties. They waste valuable time and energy killing them off, and while they’ve been doing a pretty good job of it, they have to do everything they can to make sure that they can stay on the offensive. They’ll have to keep that top of mind as they face the Avalanche tonight.

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