Ottawa - December 6, 2011 - The Ottawa Senators came storming back in the last half of the third period to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 at Scotiabank Place. Goals by Daniel Alfredsson, Nick Foligno and Zack Smith helped lead the Senators erase a 2-1 third period deficit to give the Senators the victory over the Lightning.
Tonight was the Senators first look at the controversial 1-3-1 trap employed by the Tampa Bay Lightning. If you can remember, last month the Philadelphia Flyers, while playing the Lightning, refused to move the puck up the ice, as a protest, instead passing the puck back and forth in their own zone. A lot was made of the Lightning’s 1-3-1 and whether the rules of the game should be changed to prevent it. The NHL refused to comment on it.
For the most part, the Senators had little trouble with the 1-3-1 trap, constantly breaking it down and creating scoring opportunities. Although, the game was a low scoring affair in the first two periods, both teams had their chances and if weren’t for Craig Anderson and Dwayne Roloson more goals would have scored. Once the Lightning took a 2-1 lead in the third period, they lined up three players at the blue line, but again the Senators had no problem breaking down the trap and scoring three goals.
With the game tied 1-1 early in the third period Erik Karlsson tried to stick handle past three Lightning players and coughed up the puck at the blue-line. The turnover led to a Lightning’s second goal of the game by Marty St.Louis. Karlsson who is great at handling and skating with the puck, occasionally tries to stick handle around too many players, when the easy play would be to put the puck off the boards and out of the zone. The turnover could’ve lost the game for the Senators and Karlsson needs to remember where he is in the game and what the score is.
Both Daniel Alfredsson and Zack Smith were fantastic on the night, with Smith scoring his seventh and eight goals of the season and Alfredsson contributing two points including the crucial tieing goal in the third period.
Daniel Alfredsson continues to lead this team. His contribution is important to any success the Senators have. A strong two-way player, Alfredsson contributes in both ends of the ice. Alfredsson started the come-back with a booming slap shot past Roloson to tie the game at two. The Alfredsson created a turnover in the zone and took a shot on net which was corralled by Nick Foligno who wrapped it around for the winning goal.
Zack Smith was flying tonight. Smith tied the game in the second period with a nice tip of a Jarred Cowen shot. Then to finish things off Smith made a nice move on Roloson slipping the puck past him to give the Senators the insurance goal they needed and the 4-2 victory. Smith now has 15 points in 27 games and leads the Senators with a plus six rating. A physical presence all night, Smith was in the Lightning’s face throughout the game.
With the announcement of NHL realignment tonight, the Senators will now see the Lightning six times a year. Does that get you excited?
Craig Anderson was solid tonight. He made plenty of big saves early in the game to keep the Senators in the game.
Speaking of the 1-3-1 the Lightning. Why would you want to put the clamps on players like St. Louis, Stamkos and Lecavalier? Puzzling.
Senators fans have to be excited with the team so far. The Senators hold down the eight and final playoff spot. I know they’ve only played 27 games, but for a team that was picked to be dead last, it’s hard not to get too excited.