Ottawa - November 30, 2011 - The Ottawa Senators showed some fight tonight, scoring three third period goals to erase a 4-3 deficit and win 6-4 over the Jets in Winnipeg. Zack Smith scored the winner mid-way through the third period on a power play to give the Senators the victory.
Milan Michalek scored his team leading thirteenth and fourteenth goals of the season for the Senators. Michalek was around the Jets net all night long.
Third period fight
For two periods the Senators were slightly outplayed by the Jets despite leading the game 3-2. Outshot 27-20 after two periods, the shots on goal weren’t indicative of the play. The Jets managed to employ an effective forecheck deep in the Senators zone and when they did make it out of their end, the Jets did a good job of clogging the neutral zone.
All that changed in the third period when the Senators took over the third period, specifically in the last half of the third period when they fell behind 4-3. From that point on the Senators out chanced the Jets.
Zack Smith’s second goal was reminiscent of the winning goal in Montreal on Saturday night. Goaltender Ondej Pavelec had the puck frozen next to the net when it was poked out and Smith scored. I think the referee blew the call on the play and should’ve whistled it down. Give credit to the Senators though for playing to the whistle.
Zack Smith scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season for the Senators including the game winner. Smith has been solid for the Senators this season. Playing mostly on the third line, he’s been strong at both ends of the ice leading the team with a +6 rating to go with his six goals and seven assists.
At 23 years of age, Smith is still young and has a huge upside. Not the most flashy skater, Smith is solid, strong on the puck, tough and possesses a keen sense of how to position himself and where the puck is going to be. Smith, who showed some signs of improving last year has been a real surprise. The play of Smith, Daugavins and Condra tonight was excellent and coach Paul MacLean rewarded them with ice time.
The Senators took six penalties tonight, including being two men shorthanded in the second period. That’s now 23 penalties that the Senators have taken in the last three games. With a penalty killing ratio of 80.2% on the season the Senators have to watch out that they don’t spend too much time killing penalties. Tonight they managed to kill off four of the five penalties when they were short-handed.
Chris Phillips was excellent tonight. In 24:01 of ice time he had two assists and a +4 rating in the game. His back pass to Erik Karlsson to set up the tieing goal in the third period was excellent.
We haven’t talked much about Phillips this year. He plays most nights against the opponents top player’s. His play has been solid and he’s been a steady force on the blue-line.
Although I thought Craig Anderson played a solid game, including a great glove save off of Nick Antropov in the second period, he gave up a couple of soft goals. It’s not too often that a guy saves 39 of 43 shots and give up 2-3 soft goals.
Evander Kane was dominate tonight for the Jets with 2 goals, a +2 rating and 7 shots on goal. Kane was unfortunate not get another goal or two.
Thought the ice wasn’t good in the one end where the Senators goal was in the first and third periods. The puck was bouncing wildly and I noticed more than one player lose their footing.