Game Review – 12/20/08 (DAL at OTT)

by Chelsea

Game: 

Joel Lundqvist and Nicklas Grossman did not play. Lundqvist’s shoulder was sore from the CBJ game, and Grossman was out with the flu.

Scoring opened at 1:27 in the first, when Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson scored with a snap shot with assists from Ilja Zubov and Filip Kuba. 

Despite three penalties (Krys Barch at 3:23 for boarding, Nick Foligno at 5:19 for hooking, and Anton Volchenkov at 12:44 for hooking) and consequential power plays, neither team scored until the final minute of the period.

Matt Niskanen’s shot managed to trickle past Martin Gerber at 19:09 to tie the game going into the first intermission. Mike Ribeiro and Darryl Sydor got the assists. 

Second period.

Fabian Brunnstrom got his first NHL penalty at 2:11 for interference on Brendan Bell.

The Senators broke the tie on the following man advantage, when Antoine Vermette scored at 3:52. Assists went to Foligno and Mike Fisher. 

At 7:02, Chris Kelly took two minutes for hooking Mike Modano, giving the Stars a power play. 

Brad Richards took advantage of the PP, scoring at 7:37 in an unassisted solo effort.

Dallas managed to take the lead by making the game 3-2 when Toby Petersen scored at 9:49, assisted by Landon Wilson and Doug Janik.

Stephane Robidas was whistled for hooking at 10:39. 

At 10:55, Stars veteran Jere Lehtinen went to check Alfredsson, who turned to catch himself awkwardly on the boards. Lehtinen did his best to limit the damage, even grabbing the Ottawa captain in an attempt to slow his descent. Alfredsson put on a heck of a show, going to stand but dropping dramatically to his knees. His teammates came to his aid and helped him limp off the ice, and later it was announced he had an upper body injury and would not play the rest of the game.

Lehtinen, a powerful forward but by no means vicious, was slightly targeted for the rest of the game by a team looking to stand up for their captain. Later  he was called out by an angry Ottawa journalist as someone who should have been absolutely demolished by the Senators for the hit. 

Alfredsson earned a spot on our hate list for potentially putting a finally-healthy Lehtinen in danger with his theatrics, with a questionable injury that disappeared by their next game a few days later. Boo.

Anyway, the irritated Senators got another PPG at 11:51 from Jason Spezza, assisted by Kuba and Gerber. 

Matt Niskanen and Krys Barch both got penalties for slashing, at 12:49 and 19:59 respectively.

Niskanen’s was killed off, but Barch’s lingered into the third period.

Right at the beginning of the third period, at 1:36, Alexandre Picard scored for the Senators on the remaining PP. Assists to Chris Phillips and Foligno.

Sean Donovan got a holding penalty at 9:03, but the Stars couldn’t convert.

Finally, at 14:26, Loui Eriksson scored to tie the game, assisted by Richards and Niskanen.

The game was pushed to overtime.

Early in OT, Trevor Daley got a penalty for delaying the game when he put the puck over the glass at 00:27. It was a questionable call, as the puck seemed to deflect off the stick of a Senator first. Hm.

The Stars killed off the power play, but again the momentum fueled the other team and they caught Dallas flat-footed.

Jason Smith scored at 3:30 in OT, with assists from Fisher and Dany Heatley, to win the game. 

Notes: 

  • The three game stars, in order: Foligno, Smith, Richards
  • Turco let in five goals for the second game in a row, with a .848 sv%. 
  • Three of the five goals came out of six Senator power plays.
  • Conclusion: This game had a lot of the problems the CBJ game had, only this one we didn’t win. The goaltending was sloppy, special teams were poor, and leads slipped away and turned into deficits. 

SHR +/-:

Stephane Robidas: two for tying for the team-best in hits with five and for winning a faceoff but minus-one for the stupid penalty that the Sens scored on; +1
Matt Niskanen: three for the goal, two for the assist, and one for an otherwise strong game; +6 
Krys Barch: two for tying for the team-best in hits and for winning a faceoff but minus-one for a stupid penalty that the Sens scored on; +1
Toby Petersen: three for the goal; +3
Landon Wilson: two for the assist and one for tying for the team-best in hits; +3
Jere Lehtinen: one for delivering four hits, all of which were perfectly clean; +1
Doug Janik: two for the assist and one for finally getting a point as a Star; +3
Marty Turco: minus-two for not being able to string a couple of good games together for some reason this year; -2 
Darryl Sydor: two for the assist; +2
Mike Ribiero: two for the assist but minus-one for failing at faceoffs; +1
Brad Richards: three for the goal but minus-one for leading in giveaways; +2
Fabian Brunnstrom: minus-one for the penalty that the Sens scored on but one because he never takes penalties; +0

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