With Jason Spezza on the sidelines for the foreseeable future, the Ottawa Senators will need their best players to step up to win hockey games.
That is exactly what happened on Tuesday night. Craig Anderson was an absolute rock in goal and defenceman Erik Karlsson scored the game winner while shorthanded, leading the Sens to a much needed 2-0 win over their division rivals, the Buffalo Sabres.
Much like Saturday afternoon in Winnipeg, this one started slow for MacLean’s group and really didn’t look like it was going to be their night.
After a sluggish opening twenty, the Senators seemed to find their legs a little bit, twice hitting the post behind Sabres started Ryan Miller. They hadn’t scored in almost a game and a half on home ice and it was really starting to look like it might not be in the cards on this night.
That was until Erik Karlsson decided he had seen enough.
With Michalek leading the rush shorthanded, the reigning Norris Trophy winner saw a chance to jump into the play and wasted no time. Michalek spotted Karlsson trailing the play, hit him with a perfect pass and Karlsson blew one by Ryan Miller on the short side for his sixth of the season and the first shorthanded goal of his career.
I know this is becoming the norm for Senators fans, but it really is incredible to watch this guy play the game. He is just so good at reading the play and he easily blows by guys with his first couple steps. Karlsson was at his best again on Tuesday night, logging 27:10.
Erik Condra chipped in with an insurance marker, finishing off a terrific shift by putting a loose puck past a flailing Miller.
From that point on it was the Craig Anderson show. Andy stopped everything in sight- making difficult stops look routine and routine stops look like little more than a nuisance. He turned aside 42 shots when it was all said in done, setting the franchise record for most saves in a home ice shutout.
Anderson really is in some kind of zone right now and is making the game look incredible easy. There were times last season, even though he was playing well, where it looked like Anderson was guessing a little bit. I don’t see any of that in his game right now. He just looks so technically sound and is really letting the game come to him.
No time for the Senators to enjoy the win though as they are right back at it tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Game Day post coming in a little bit.
- Where scouts are on any given night doesn’t necessarily mean anything on the trade front but the fact that two Ducks scouts were in Ottawa and a couple Sens guys were in Chicago for the Ducks/Hawks game is certainly interesting. It’s especially interesting when you consider the news I passed along earlier this week that Bryan and Bob Murray are talking. We’ll see where this goes.
- Shawn Simpson of the Team 1200 suggests that Ben Bishop might be a fit in Columbus considering the recent addition of Jarmo Kekäläinen as General Manager. He suggests that Artem Anisimov might be an option for the Senators.