The Sens scored an easy win over the Penguins tonight but before the puck dropped, the Ottawa Senators found themselves in a hole.
In a last minute line up change, it was revealed that Erik Karlsson would miss this game with an upper body injury. MacLean indicated Karlsson tweaked something in warm up but should be good to go on Thursday in New York.
Down one of their best players, the Sens looked a little out of sorts the first few shifts of the hockey game.
After a sloppy start, the visitors started to roll in a big way. First it was Chris Neil walking out front untouched to give Ottawa a lead. Nick Foligno went coast to coast and set up Bobby Butler to put the Sens up by a couple. Spezza scored one of his best in a Sens uniform early in the second and then Milan Michalek tallied on the power play, his 21st, to put Ottawa up by four.
With a substantial lead, the Senators took their foot off the gas a little bit. Evgeni Malkin capitalized on a turnover and cut the lead to three. The Pens carried the play for the rest of the second but Anderson made some big stops to keep the lead at three heading into the final frame.
The Ottawa Senators haven't had a ton of experience playing with a lead in the third period but I was impressed with the effort the team put in tonight. Granted this was a shorthanded Penguins squad but MacLean's group did an excellent job limiting opposition chances in the final period and didn't give the Pens a chance to play their way back into the hockey game.
With the win, the Senators now have 52 points of the season and hold on to 5th spot in the East. Next up is a real tough test in the form of the New York Rangers, the top team in the Eastern Conference in a battle of two of the hottest teams in the NHL
- Solid offensive night for a handful of guys. Two goal night for Michalek including his 22nd of the season. One goal, one assist for Spezza giving him 44 points on the season, two assist night for Nick Foligno and a three helper night for Colin Greening.
- On a night where scoreboard shows Sens domination, really liked the game of Craig Anderson. Andy stopped 29 of 30 and made a handful of big stops to ensure this Penguins team didn't gain any momentum
- Always interesting to see how a coach manages ice time in a game like this. Jason Spezza played just 15:37, which ranked him 6th among Ottawa forwards. With a lengthy road trip coming up, MacLean will want to make sure he manages the ice time of his stars as best he can.