The Ottawa Senators have been in a free fall since early November, but for one night at least, they were able to catch an updraft. Vancouver had a commanding 3-0 lead early in the second period, but Ottawa bounced back to earn a 4-3 overtime victory.
Mika Zibanejad, 21, deserve a lot of credit for the Senators’ comeback as he contributed two goals and two assists.
Zibanejad is now on a four-game point streak and has 13 points in 25 contests this season. Defenseman Erik Karlsson is on a three-game point streak after scoring his seventh marker of 2014-15 to secured the extra point in overtime.
“The lesson we take is that we were in control and we took ourselves out of it with penalties,” Kevin Bieksa said, per the Canucks’ Twitter feed. The Senators had seven power-play opportunities tonight and Bieksa was personally responsible for two of them.
Eddie Lack enjoyed a shutout streak of 98:03 minutes and while he did end up allowing four goals tonight, he also turned aside 41 shots.
With this victory Ottawa has ended its five-game losing streak. That skid was just the latest for Ottawa during a 3-8-3 stretch from Nov. 8 through Saturday’s loss to Pittsburgh. The Senators got off to a hot start to the season though and consequently haven’t dug themselves into a massive hole yet.
Radim Vrbata has been a big part of the Vancouver Canucks’ turnaround following their disappointing 2013-14 campaign and that trend continued tonight as he scored the first goal of their game against the Ottawa Senators in style.
Vrbata found himself with an unobstructed view of Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, but the netminder was well positioned to make the save, so rather than fire a shot, Vrbata charged forward, managed to outmaneuver Anderson and guide the puck into the net.
You can see his impressive work below:
Just over a minute later, Vrbata got an assist on Kevin Bieksa’s goal to give the Canucks a 2-0 lead that they carried into the first intermission.
All the latest from the blue paint…
The Anaheim Ducks will now trot out Frederik Andersen for a 15th consecutive game. He’s been in net in every contest since Nov. 7, and that patience is paying off lately, as Anaheim’s on a three-game winning streak.
(It almost feels like they could dress Dwayne Roloson as their backup each night and no one would really notice the difference.)
This is a starting situation to witness, as it seemed like the Ducks would enjoy one of the most even platoons in the league. John Gibson and Jason LaBarbera getting injured changed that in a hurry, however.
Andersen’s facing a team that’s enjoyed surprisingly stout goaltending so far in the Winnipeg Jets. It’s not certain, but it seems most likely that Ondrej Pavelec will face the Ducks.
Red Wings at Hurricanes: Petr Mrazek will probably start, Cam Ward could go if he’s healthy.
Canucks at Senators: Most likely Eddie Lack, while Craig Anderson’s a sure thing.
Sharks at Oilers: Probably Alex Stalock vs. Viktor Fasth.
Evgeni Malkin was just in the right place at the right time, and did the rest from there.
Malkin opened the scoring, as the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. He had just jumped out of the penalty box and was fortunate to skate on to a loose puck in the neutral zone – a Mika Zibanejad slap shot missed the net and came all the way outside the zone – at full speed, before making a move to the forehand and beating goalie Craig Anderson.
As Malkin made the move, he went sliding into the Senators’ puck stopper.
The Penguins, thanks to a goal from Christian Ehrhoff with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, defeated the Senators by a final score of 3-2.
An afternoon game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators has been physical early on, perhaps in part because of this huge hit by Zach Sill on Kyle Turris:
Between the hit and fight that ensued, Sill accrued 20 penalty minutes (five-minute majors for fighting and interference, plus a game misconduct). The 26-year-old hasn’t been suspended in his career. Turris, 25, returned to the contest during the first period, so the early outlook is good for his health.
(Naturally, these things sometime change later on in games or even afterward.)
The general reaction is that Sill doesn’t deserve a fine or suspension, with some believing it wasn’t worthy of a five-minute major, either.