So much for thinking that the Ottawa Senators had found their game when they defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-1 on Wednesday.
Against an Anaheim team that had played on Thursday and been badly beaten 4-1 by the Montreal Canadiens, the Senators were outplayed and stymied by Danish rookie goalie Frederik Andersen. The 2-1 loss leaves them at .500, 4-4-2.
Patrick Maroon and Ryan Getzalf scored for the Ducks, while Mika Zibanejad, on the power play, scored for the Senators.
Craig Anderson faced 28 shots for the Senators, while Andersen, who was signed to a two-year extension worth $1.15 million per season just before the game, faced 27 shots.
After hoping to reprise their effort against the Red Wings, the Senators didn’t distinguish themselves in the first period.
Maroon got his second of the season and his second in two nights at 7:35 with a shot from the high slot that went through Anderson’s legs — not one that will look good on his resume for a spot on the United States Olympics team.
Then, 10 minutes later, Erik Karlsson did no one any favours when he lost the handle on a puck behind the Ottawa net. It came straight out and landed on Corey Perry’s stick.
Anderson made the first save, but Getzlaf got the rebound and knocked it in.
Ottawa’s best chance came from Zibanejad on a point-blank shot, but Andersen made the save.
Halfway through the second period, the Senators found some life when Zibanejad scored his first of the year with Saku Koivu off for slashing. It was a snapshot from the left point that beat Andersen to the short side, looking a little like the kind of goal Daniel Alfredsson scored so often.
But instead of finding some momentum, the Senators killed it with an appalling lack of discipline – three straight unjustifiable penalties that had them shorthanded for six of the next seven minutes. No wonder coach Paul MacLean has been so frustrated.
Chris Neil started it with two for roughing, and Eric Gryba followed with two for roughing and two for hooking.
They got back a bit of momentum by the end of the period but they had squandered a good opportunity.
The Dynamic Duo of Ryan Getzlaf, with a goal and an assist, and Corey Perry, with two assists, seemed to be wherever the puck was all night. They did the damage that staked the Ducks to a 2-0 first-period lead, which was all they needed, and had a number of other great chances.
The giveaway by Erik Karlsson that led to Getzalf’s first-period goal was so sloppy it was astonishing to watch, but just as bad were the three straight penalties by Chris Neil (one) and Eric Gryba (two) that left the Senators shorthanded for six of seventh minutes in the middle of the second. All self-inflicted wounds.
Ottawa coach Paul MacLean juggled his lines all night trying to find combinations he liked. He started off with a top line of Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, and Jason Spezza. By the third, Greening was gone and replaced by Mika Zibanejad.
Because he doesn’t play back-to-back games, 43-year-old Teemu Selanne didn’t play against the Senators. He played in Montreal on Thursday against the Canadiens. That was too bad, because it denied Ottawa fans a chance to applaud a remarkable career that began 1,396 games ago with the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets picked him 10th overall in the 1988 draft.