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No Sitting Ducks

Posted By Mika Oehling On Jan 19 2011 @ 10:44 am In Ottawa Senators | No Comments

The Anaheim Ducks didn’t sit back in a 2-1 shoot out win over the Ottawa Senators last night, in a close game that included great goaltending on both ends, few whistles, family drama and a fight. It was one of the more intense games that Ottawa has played recently and like the recent Washington loss, was up for grabs. This game, however, made its way to 5 minutes of overtime and 3 shooters, with Erik Karlsson coming up short in his first NHL shootout try. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a bad game and it was even nice to see Clouston get a little snippy at the press conference afterwards. He tells it like it is; the Senators are getting chances, but they just can’t put it away and it’s a mystery to him like to anyone else.

Great goaltending last night was provided by Brian Elliott and Jonas Hiller, who kept this game for Anaheim. While Hiller was the busier goalie on the night and forced to make some pretty great saves, stopping 40 shots on goal, Elliott also made some timely saves to keep his team in the game. While Anaheim only poured on the pressure for 27 shots in regulation time, Elliott came up big on overtime, getting a little help as well from the post.

Few whistles were had on the night, as Ottawa managed to stay out of the box and took no minors. The only exception, of course, were the two fighting majors for Carkner and Perros, who have a history of fighting each other. They had a nice little showboating bout which did little other than to add atmosphere.

Family drama added to that atmosphere, with the entire Foligno family present at this game. Mike Foligno, father to Nick and Marcus, was coaching for the Ducks. Nick Foligno was playing for the Senators. Nick and Marcus had both played for different sides of the US-America World Junior teams in the IIHF Championships, but they clearly are not a house divided when it comes to rooting for each other. As for the grandmother, she confessed to Ian Mendes that she was rooting on Nick (and that she th0ught Ian looked good, which, along with the Andy Sutton interview replay, was the funniest moment of the night).

Plus on the night: Michalek has been making good use of his size to clear the way to the goal or to pick up penalties; the rest of the team should be taking note. Bobby Butler played a great game, getting a lot of chances, but Hiller proved to be up to the task and stopped all of his shots, including a short handed one. Fisher showed some resiliency on the night, not giving up on plays and getting rewarded with Ottawa’s only goal. Chris Campoli’s making a statement on the ice and clearly earning his ice time. He plays great when he plays aggressively; otherwise, he’s a non-factor in games.

Minus on the night: Sergei Gonchar and Erik Karlsson seem to be having trouble communicating. They bobbled a few plays and it was obvious that they didn’t mesh well. Peter Regin was a healthy scratch last night, as his numbers haven’t been up to par, to say the least. Hopefully, he will gain some perspective and appreciate his time in the next game. Filip Kuba still needs to get his head in the game. He’s been making some odd choices on the ice and bad turnovers. He needs to get his edge back in his game.

The Senators have to look ahead now to facing one of the best teams in the league on Thursday night, as Philadelphia rolls into town. Jeff Carter is on a streak, Claude Giroux and Ville Leino are both out to show that they’re the real deal, and Danny Briere is experiencing a short fuse. The focus of the night will have to be on cutting the Flyers short in the neutral zone and not letting them get the early jump start. The short tempers on the bench can be exploited and Ruutu should be able to sucker some of them into dumb penalties. If the Senators can then capitalize on the power play, they should have a fighting chance.

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