Bad luck dooms Senators in loss to Caps

The long road odyssey of the Ottawa Senators ended badly on an untimely slip Saturday night.

Bad luck dooms Senators in loss to Caps
Kyle Turris #7 of the Ottawa Senators scores during the shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Senators defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The long road odyssey of the Ottawa Senators ended badly on an untimely slip Saturday night.
After playing a terrific game, Erik Karlsson, who scored Ottawa’s first goal, got unlucky in the opening seconds of overtime.
Off the opening faceoff in overtime, he caught a skate in a rut, fell, and the Washington Capitals got in on a two-on-one break.
One-time Senator Brooks Laich, in his 500th NHL game, converted it and the Capitals won 3-2.
Karlsson could only stand forlornly in the dressing room after the game and shake his head.
“I got in a bad position and caught a nick or something, fell,” he said.
“Bad luck sometimes. It sucks. But there’s not much you can do. Just got caught in a bad piece of ice or something. Skate went the other way.”
So the Senators finish their long road trip with a 4-3-2 record, 10 of a possible 18 points. It’s not bad but it could have been better.
“Overall, I think we played a great road trip,” said Daniel Alfredsson.
“It’s a little bit frustrating because I think we could have had two or three more points, because we kind of deserved that.
“But that’s the way it goes. You have to be focused for most of the game if you want to win, and a couple of times in the last few games we’ve lost some points in the last few minutes.
“It’s frustrating but overall it’s been a good trip and something to build on.”
Milan Michalek, with his 16 goal and his forth in three games, also scored for Ottawa.
Nicklas Backstrom and Troy Brouwer scored for the Capitals in regulation.
Craig Anderson faced 35 shots for Ottawa while Michal Neuvirth faced 34.
Anderson felt badly for Karlsson.
“(Karlsson) played unbelieveable tonight,” said Anderson.
“He’s was one of the best guys out there. He just got caught in a rut and tripped over his feet there and gave up a two-on-one.
“Overall, a disappointing play, but we’ve got to take the positives out of it. (Karlsson) played an unbelievable game. It was just unfortunate. It’s a hockey play, it’s going to happen.”
As the first period opened, the Senators had all the pressure and territorial advantage, but the Capitals got the first and only goal of the period.
From the high slot, only 1:58 into the game, Nicklas Backstrom ripped a shot that went under Anderson’s glove.
But Anderson redeemed himself over the next 18 minutes. The Capitals had just six more shots – Backstrom’s goal came on their second – and some were very dangerous.
For their part, the Senators had twice as many shots as the Capitals, and several were of a high quality, but Neuvirth was lucky as well as good.

* * * * * * * * * *

GAME FILE

WHY THEY LOST: Because Erik Karlsson got unlucky, slipped and fell, and the Capitals got in on a two-on-one break, scored, and won the game 3-2 in OT.

STUD: Milan Michalek. His fourth goal in the last three games tied the game with 3:15 left. It was also his 16th goal of the year.

DUD: Bobby Butler. This was an upgrade from Nikita Filatov on the top line? Butler played 14:10 and had one shot. Isn’t he supposed to be an offensive producer, too?

QUICK CHANGE ARTISTS: The five days between Bruce Boudreau’s firing by the Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks is the shortest any NHL coach has been unemployed. Boudreau broke the record of 15 days that was held by the late Roger Neilson when he was fired by the Vancouver Canucks and hired by the Los Angeles Kings during the 1983-84 season.

LAICH HITS 500: He was almost an afterthought for the Senators, drafted as he was in the sixth round of the 2001 draft (193rd overall). Then he was deemed expendable when the Senators were looking for playoff help and sent him to the Capitals for Peter Bondra in 2004. But Brooks Laich has persevered and put together a nice NHL career. On Saturday he played his 500th NHL game as an important part of the Capitals.

What do you think? Leave a comment