On the heels of a tough afternoon loss in Philly, and playing their third game in four days, you knew the Ottawa Senators were in tough on Sunday afternoon.
While Patrick Wiercioch was able to tie the game late and help the Senators steal a single point, the Islanders came away with the W, scoring a 3-2 shootout win. Ottawa is next in action on Wednesday when they visit the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Robin Lehner was strong for the Sens through regulation and in the overtime but didn't have much of a chance against one of the league's best shootout teams in the New York Islanders.
Both Frans Nielsen and John Tavares made it look easy in the shootout and helped the Islanders come away with a rare win on home ice. While the loss is disappointing for Ottawa, it looked like they would come away completely empty handed if not for a late power play goal.
The Islanders drew first blood in the matinee affair as Brad Boyes finished off a 4 on 2 odd man rush that started when Condra, Greening and Zibanejad all got caught deep in the Islanders zone. Ottawa just wasn't sharp in the early going and if not for the play of Robin Lehner, this game could have got out of hand early on.
They looked a little better to start the second period and were rewarded for their efforts as Mika Zibanejad buried a loose puck behind Islander starter Evgeni Nabokov. The goal was Zibanejad's 4th of the season. The Senators had a great chance to take the lead late in the period but a Patrick Wiercioch shot rang off the post.
The Sens defenceman would get his revenge in the third.
Both teams exchanged chances in the final frame but with just under four minutes left to play, Michael Grabner beat Robin Lehner with a wrist shot to give the Isles a 2-1 lead. Give the Senators credit though as they refused to quit. On a late power play, a point shot from Wiercioch pinballed past Nabokov to tie the game at 2-2 with just over a minute to play.
The goal was Patrick Wiercioch's first in the National Hockey League.
Robin Lehner made a handful of phenomenal stops in the overtime period, his best being a right pad save on John Tavares to keep the game tied. In the shootout, where the Islanders are deadly, Nielsen and Tavares scored while Silfverberg and Alfredsson missed for Ottawa. A tough loss but an important point banked in a tough back to back.
The Sens have a couple days off to lick their wounds as their next game comes on Wednesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
There's a chance Milan Michalek could return in time for that game.
- Flyers forward Harry Zolnierczyk was suspended for four games for his hit on Sens defenceman Mike Lundin on Saturday afternoon. Despite the Flyers claiming it was a "clean hit", it's nice to see the league step in on this one. Here is the link to Brendan Shanahan's explanation of the suspension