Jared Cowen has probably been the Ottawa Senators most consistent defensive defenceman this season.
And he was that again tonight logging 26:04 in ice time including more than four minutes on the powerplay. But the contribution didn't stop there, as Cowen jumped into the play to score the overtime winner and put the Sens back in the win column.
It certainly wasn't a perfect game but this was a huge two points for a team that has had a slow start to December.
Aside from the obvious and glaring defensive miscues, the Ottawa Senators actually played a pretty good first period. They seemed to have legs in the early going and were outworking the Sabres. But as has been the case often lately, turnovers hung Craig Anderson out to dry and Buffalo was able to sneak out of the first with the lead.
Then the second period happened.
In the third period, Peter Regin pulled the Sens even with a rocket from the point, his first goal since returning to the line up. Important to highlight a smart pinch by Brian Lee and a great screen by Nick Foligno that played a huge part in the tying goal.
The overtime winner was a case of all or nothing for the Sens. With Erik Karlsson handing the puck deep in the attacking zone, Jared Cowen saw an opportunity to jump into the play and went for it. An incredible pass from Erik Karlsson hit Cowen right on the tape and sent the Sens to big overtime win over a division rival.
The game didn't start pretty for the Senators but credit this team for sticking with it and not letting a couple early mistakes decided their fate. Hats off to Craig Anderson for making some big stops when he had to and allowing the blueline to settle down a little bit.
Quick turnaround for the Sens who are right back at it tomorrow night when they host the defending champion Boston Bruins. Still tickets available for that one so contact Mike McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to pick some up
- Sergei Gonchar and Filip Kuba have been lightning rods for criticism but it's pretty clear that the Sens miss those two right now. Both veteran defenders were playing big minutes under MacLean and in turn, helping to ease some of the pressure on the youngsters. The good news is Sergei Gonchar could return later in the week.
- More bad news on the injury front as NHL goal leader Milan Michalek left the game with an injury. It was tough to tell exactly what caused the injury but Michalek was involved in an ugly collision with Erik Karlsson in the second period. He did take a couple shifts after that incident. It goes without saying but the Senators would be in big trouble if Michalek was out for an extended period of time.
- If there is a positive spin to put on this injury, it has to be the fact that they are calling it an upper body injury. Michalek has had some serious knee issues in the past.
- Colin Greening was one of the best players on the ice for the Sens. Registered a team high nine shots on goal, picked up an assist on the Michalek goal and picked up the decision in a third period scrap.