Ottawa - November 26, 2011 - The Ottawa Senators finished their six game road trip the same way they started it, with a uninspiring effort and a bad loss. Just like their first road game in Buffalo two weeks ago, the Senators were plauged with bad goaltending, bad defensive coverage in their own zone and an overall poor start, which they couldn’t recover from. The Senators found themselves behind 4-1 before the game was 10 minutes old which they couldn’t recover from losing 6-3 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Craig Anderson had another poor outing and for the second time on this road trip was pulled early in the game. The Penguins second goal, scored by Tyler Kennedy was from behind the net and was a back breaker for the Senators. It’s hard enough playing against a team with Crosby, Malkin and Co., let alone if you give up a bad goal from behind the red line. Anderson saved only four of eight shots in the game.
Anderson had strung together three strong games in wins over Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton and it looked like he’d finally turned the corner. Anderson has struggled overall this year with a 3.46gaa and a save percentage of .889, sub-par for a young team that is hoping to compete on a nightly basis.
The Senators had another one of their bad starts. After an early Kaspars Daugavins goal the Senators gave up four goals in a period of eight minutes and finished the period behind 4-1. To say the Senators start bad, is an under-statement. In 22 games so far this season, the Senators have led after the first period in only four games. The Senators record is 4-7 when behind after the first period for a .364 winning percentage.
The fact that the Senators have led after the first period in only four of 22 games this season is concerning. The Senators often don’t seem ready for the start of the game. This is an issue that I hope is being addressed by the coaching staff. With a young squad you would think that they would often get the jump on the opponents but that is not the case.
Sidney Crosby has burst back onto the NHL scene. Crosby had three first period points and he looked like a danger to score goals all night long, including two posts that he hit in the second period. That being said though, it looked like some of the young Senators were intimidated by Crosby and the Penguins. The Senators were caught flat footed in their own zone and the were caught standing and watching the Penguins. Here’s hoping that the next time the two teams play the Senators will show the Penguins less respect.
On the Penguins first goal, they got away with an interference call high in their own zone which led to the 3 on 2 and the goal.
Sidney Crosby should’ve gotten more than two minutes for the head shot that he gave to Nick Foligno.
Speaking of Crosby, nice fake shot and pass Chris Kunitz for the Penguins first goal. The fake froze both Anderson and the defence, giving Kunitz a wide open net to shoot on.
Jason Spezza’s shot in the second period went over Fleury’s shoulder and then hit both posts. I’m still not sure, once the puck hit the second post, how it deflected up over the glass. Very weird.
Kaspars Daugavins was a +2 in the game, which is quite surprising considering the score.