It’s the time of the year for dramatic finishes, and Ottawa provided heart-stopping moments in its 4-3 shoot out win in Philadelphia. Ottawa came out strong in the first period, faltered a bit in the second and played for its life in the third. Anderson bailed them out of an overtime offensive fire drill and Michalek and Spezza put the game away. In the final five games of the season, this was a big win for Ottawa, as it clings to its playoff spot with teams in the East battling it out to overcome 2 point differentials for that coveted final spot.
Philadelphia has already punched its ticket to the final, where their post-season may begin close to home in an all-out Pennsylvania turf war. They played the first period lackadaisically, but woke up briskly in the second after Ottawa pummeled in 3 goals. It was tough outing in a tale of two goaltenders: Ottawa’s Craig Anderson has been standing tall in his net and is exuding very confident body language, while back up netminder Bobrovsky got the start for an injured Bryzgalov. Both of them were challenged in this game, with some puck bobbles that were costly, resulting in some messy and unusual goals.
Speaking of unusual goals, Simmonds opened the scoring for the Flyers with a puck off his face. Sean Couturier had a less painful, but time-consuming process to get the teams’ second goal after it was initially waved off due to the net coming off its moorings. This decision was overturned due to a rule clarification that states a goal is considered a good goal if the peg is still in contact with the hole in the ice at the time the puck crosses the line. It was a lesson learned and a good one for Couturier, and while some fans may disagree with it or not like the results of it, it was, in fairness, a legitimate call.
If fans would like to argue goals, they should be looking at Coburn’s game-tying goal on a puck bobble that initially looked weak on Anderson. While there’s no doubt that it went in, it could be argued that if there was one of Philly’s goals that Anderson should have had made a save on in the day, it was that one. But there’s no need to nitpick about details, because as always, Anderson came up big when he had to, stopping great breakaway chances, keeping Giroux off the scoresheet by being unimpressed by his flashy backwards move in the shoot out and stonewalling Briere to give the Senators their win.
Spezza deserves a huge amount of credit in this win as well for the Ottawa Senators. Not only did he open the scoring in this game with a goal off of Bobrovsky’s back, he also closed the scoring with a fast and furious shoot out goal. The energy of that goal was clear; he was going for Bobrovsky all the way and he took him down as methodically as an old Western sheriff. That kind of killer instinct is what has kept Ottawa in the playoff hunt in what was supposed to be a write off season. While it may not be necessary to pull out the big guns tomorrow against the New York Islanders, the Sens would not be doing themselves any favours by taking them lightly. Even if it is April Fool’s Day.
About the Author
Written by Mika Oehling
Office worker and sports nerd. Cannot play a professional sport to save my life, but love to write. Prone to rants, raves, snarky humour and caustic commentary. My team's the Ottawa Senators. Author of Armchair Hockey, a work of humourous fiction released this year and available for sale online at Chapters and Amazon.