It wasn’t by much – Craig Anderson had to make sure that Sean Couturier’s shootout attempt hit the crossbar, not his net – but the Ottawa Senators were ecstatic to edge the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 (SO) on Monday.
Jason Spezza scored a pretty shootout winner and collected two assists while Clarke MacArthur continued his red-hot play (two goals) to help Ottawa snatch the win.
The Senators lost four of their last five games and only had three wins in their last 11 contests coming into Monday’s game, so this could be a nice confidence booster. They can really get some momentum going, as they have a home-and-home coming up against the Buffalo Sabres.
They’d be wise to finish 2013 off on a high note, too, as the run from Jan. 1 to the 2014 Winter Olympics could be downright brutal.
The Ottawa Citizen’s James Gordon points out that the Senators have fired more shots on goal than they’ve allowed for seven straight games, so perhaps it’s all about turning their goaltending around (Craig Anderson celebrated the win emphatically, for one).
This represents a bit of a stumble for Steve Mason and the Flyers. Philly has lost three of its last four games while Mason has allowed four goals in each of his two consecutive losses. If you want a simple statement to capture how dramatic a rebound season this has been for the 25-year-old, consider this: he hadn’t allowed more than three goals in any contest in 2013-14 until the past two defeats.
On the bright side, the Flyers only have one more away contest left (tomorrow against the mighty Blackhawks) in their six-game road trip. That also concludes a run of eight road games vs. just one home contest.
Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).
The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.
You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.
It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.
Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.
There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.
The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.
Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.
The Ottawa Senators cannot pin all of their troubles on missing their No. 1 center, yet it probably feels like a huge relief to get him back.
After missing six games with his latest injury, Kyle Turris is in the lineup as the Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Again, it’s not all a matter of missing Turris, but the Senators went 1-5-0 during his six-game absence. They’ve really been falling since late December, to be honest.
Will Turris be enough to stop the bleeding? Perhaps to an extent, but the Senators are in for a serious battle if they hope to fight through the East bubble.
Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.
Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.
Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.
Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:
From one current All-Star to someone who could be a perennial one: McDavid certainly seemed to grab Subban’s attention.
Then again, when you make moves like these, who won’t notice?
The Oilers did lose, mind you, so it’s not surprising that Todd McLellan mentioned that the team can’t depend upon McDavid for everything.
That said, the funny thing about that quote is that McDavid might just carry the Oilers for two decades, at least if health and other factors go the right way.
If that’s true, Subban vs. McDavid could be a fun matchup to watch a few times per season for a long, long time.