Ottawa - January 3, 2012 - Daniel Alfredsson scored his 12th goal of the season four minutes into overtime to give the Ottawa Senators a come from behind 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. The Senators were on the power play in overtime with the Devils David Clarkson in the penalty box for hooking. Alfredsson received a pass from Erik Karlsson at the face off circle to the right of Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur. Alfredsson took his time and then wristed a shot between Brodeur and the post giving the Senators the victory.
Strong road game
The New Jersey Devils played the perfect road game for two periods. The Devils managed to bottle up the neutral zone and with the exception of a few situations, kept the Senators to the outside. Martin Brodeur was solid and the Devils cleared the way for him. Brodeur is still one of the best goaltenders in the NHL when it comes to handling the puck, something which is not lost on the Devils players.
The Senators were unsuccessful throwing the puck into the Devils zone because Brodeur corralled the puck and threw it up the boards. The Devils forwards were good at getting to the points to either make sure the puck was getting out or to block any shots thrown at their net by the Senators defenseman. In fact the Devils blocked nine shots alone in the second period.
Make no mistake, the Senators did play well in the second period, carrying the play at times, but the Devils played an excellent defensive game and managed to take advantage of two Senators miscues to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room after two periods. Neither of the New Jersey goals could be blamed on Craig Anderson who was solid and at times kept the game from getting out of hand.
Third period comeback
Senators fans have learned that this team never gives up, despite the deficit. The Senators made a third period comeback with two goals to tie the game at two and send it to overtime.
The Senators lead the league in third period goals with 54 goals, three ahead of the next closest team the Boston Bruins. The Senators are also tied for the lead in third period comebacks with five wins and an overtime loss. The 11 points that the Senators have gotten with their third period comebacks are a main reason why this team is currently in a playoff spot.
Jason Spezza with his 14th goal of the season 1:21 into the third period put the Senators on the board. Erik Condra scored a short-handed goal, his seventh goal of the season with just under seven minutes left to tie it at two. You could just feel the momentum shift after the Spezza goal and the Senators have so much confidence when entering the third period, knowing that the game is not over.
Erik Karlsson added two assists on the night and now sits second in the NHL with 32 assists, just four behind league leader Henrik Sedin of Vancouver. What makes Karlsson’s numbers impressive is that he is a defenseman. Karlsson is number one in points for all defencemen in the league with 37 points in 40 games.
Tonight, Karlsson set up two beauties. His pass to Jason Spezza through two players and right onto Spezza’s stick was excellent. Spezza then skated in all alone and after faking a back hand shot, slid the puck between Brodeur’s legs for his 14th goal of the season. Spezza’s two points on the night gave him 40 points in 40 games.
Karlsson’s next assist was on the pass to Alfredsson in overtime for the winner.
Erik Karlsson is a high risk/high reward player. Offensively gifted and slick with the puck, he generates a lot of offence for the team, but occasionally he tries to do too much and can be questionable in his own end. However, if we are going to criticism him when he plays bad we have to be willing to praise him when he is good. Tonight he was great.
- I thought the ice was quite choppy tonight and the puck was bouncing all over the place. Passes that were meant for players often took weird hops or bounced over their sticks. You would think in this climate with -10 degree weather outside we could make some good ice.
- Erik Condra’s tieing goal seemed to hit the defencemen’s stick and changed direction just enough to get by Martin Brodeur.
- A special shout out to the young lady sitting next to us wearing a Karlsson jersey. It was her first time sitting up high in the box/press level and she thoroughly enjoyed the view where you can see everything.
- Up next for the Senators, the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday and then the Sens are on the road for nine of their next 10 games.