Ottawa - February 23, 2012 - Milan Michalek, Eric Karlsson and Nick Foligno each had multiple point nights as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Washington Capitals 4-2 at Scotiabank Place. The win was Ottawa’s fourth in a row and fifth in the last six games. The Senators are on a hot streak, going 5-0-1 over the last six games to move seven points clear of the ninth place Winnipeg Jets.
Norris Trophy Favorite
Every game the Senators play, defenseman Erik Karlsson seems to cement himself as the odds on favorite to win the NHL’s Norris trophy for the best defenseman. Tonight, Karlsson was dominant again with a goal and two assists, including a nice long cross ice pass he made off the boards to set up Milan Michalek for his first goal of the night.
Karlsson leads all NHL defenseman with 13 goals and 47 assists for 60 points and is a full 20 points ahead of Brian Campbell who sits second in the NHL. Karlsson is also a +15, and has been dominant on both ends of the ice. His second assist tonight, which gave him 47 on the season set an assist record for the franchise. Karlsson has been particularly good over the last five games, with five goals and seven assists for 12 points. He’s also been a +8 over this stretch.
Milan Michalek also had a three point night tonight with two goals and an assist. The two goals give Michalek 27 goals on the season which ties him for ninth in the NHL. His first goal tonight was spectacular when he put the puck between Washington defenseman Dennis Wideman’s legs and then slipping the puck past Thomas Vokoun.
The line of Michalek, Spezza and Bobby Butler has been spectacular over the last six games. The line has amazed 30 points in the last six games and has scored 12 goals. The line has been dominant and all three players are working well together. The combination has been a bit of a resurgence for Bobby Butler who, for the moment anyway, seems to have found his place.
Shutout streak ends
Craig Anderson’s shutout streak ended early in the third period when the Capitals John Carlson scored on the power play on a beautiful cross ice pass by Alexi Semin. Anderson slid across the crease but wasn’t quick enough to make the stop. The goal broke Anderson’s shutout streak at 117:54, which is just under two games.
During the shutout streak Anderson stopped 63 straight shots and tonight he looked unbeatable until Carlson’s power play goal in the third period. During the previous six games Anderson gave up just 11 goals with two shutouts and a 1.83 goals against average. His play is a main reason why the Senators have been on a hot streak.
- The referring was good for most of the game until the 10 minute mark of the third period. At that point, for some reason the officials decided to not call any penalties and put their whistle in the their pocket.
- Nick Foligno had a two point night tonight and had a very strong game on the puck. His forechecking and physical play were good.
- Chris Phillips power play goal gives him four goals in the last five games. Considering he went over 50 games before scoring his first goal, the recent streak is quite remarkable.
- Next up for the Senators is two games in two nights against the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders.