Ottawa - January 1, 2012 - Bobby Butler scored in the fifth round of the shootout to give the Ottawa Senators a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres last night. Butler’s goal was a thrilling conclusion to shootout that had the Senators on the brink of losing in the third round until Daniel Alfredsson tied it. The win gave Ottawa four out of a possible six points this week and moved them into the eight and final playoff spot at the conclusion of 2010. A spot not too many people thought they would be in at
the start of the season.
Good first period
The Senators had a strong first period, outshooting the Buffalo Sabres 14-9 and outchancing them by my count about 10-2. Despite outplaying them, Brad Boyes scored his third goal of the season on the power play with Chris Neil serving a questionable roughing call. Neil was given the penalty for basically pushing Sabres antagonist Patrik Kaletta after the play was over.
Boyes goal was not a good one. Jordon Leopold took a slap shot from the blueline with no one in his way that hit Craig Anderson in the shoulder. Anderson flopped down on the ice and had no idea where the puck was. All Leopold had to do was simply shovel the puck into the empty net. It was another case of the Senators just not getting the goaltender.
Goal posts and cross-bars
By my count the Senators had Jonas Enroth beaten four times, hitting the post three times and the cross bar once. On two of the four shots, Enroth never even seen the puck. With so much bad luck in the first period and the team behind 1-0 at the end of the first Senators fans must have been wondering if the Senators were ever going to score or if this just wasn’t going to be their night.
Nick Foligno added to the total by hitting the post for the fifth time in the game. Again it looked like Enroth was beaten.
Unlikley goal scorers
Matt Carkner finally opened the scoring the Senators 1:55 for his first goal of the season. Carker, not known for his offensive skills, has been a steady force on the blueline for the Senators. In the nine games that Carkner has played this year, coming back from injury, he’s a solid plus 2 for the team and his physical presence is something the Senators need. He also, doesn’t seem to panic that often and it’s nice to a defenseman who can drop the gloves and fight every once in a while.
Chris Neil, scored the Senators second goal, his fifth of the season on a nice backhander while on a breakaway. The shot beat Enroth, hitting just up under the crossbar. Backhand shots are often tough for a goaltender to save because its hard to read the puck off of the player’s stick.
One thing I do wonder about, when was the last time that both Carkner and Neil scored in the same game for the Senators.
The game ended in a 2-2 tie and came down to a thrilling shootout. Brad Boyes gave the Sabres a lead in the second round of the shootout, which Jason Spezza responded to with a goal. Then came round three when Jason Pominville scored, forcing the Senators to score on their final shootout attempt to keep the shootout and game going. Step up Captain Incredible, Daniel Alfredsson who saved the Senators from a loss with a goal.
Bobby Butler then scored in the fifth round of the shootout to give the Senators a much deserved victory.
- The Senators outshot 46-28 and outplayed the Buffalo Sabres for most of the game. Both teams were playing their third games in four nights, but it was the Senators who seemed to have more energy and jump in their game.
- I think Daniel Alfredsson can still play another year in the NHL. In a season, where Alfredsson was supposed to have his ice time reduced and he was to play a limited role, he’s been dominant and has proven to many sens fans that he still has “game”.
- Up next, two homes games against the New Jersey Devils and Tampa Bay Lightning, before back to back encounters with the Philadelphia Flyers.