Ceci’s first NHL goal beats Blues in OT

It had to end like that, didn’t it? With the hometown kid scoring the winning goal?

Cody Ceci of the Ottawa Senators celebrates his overtime game winning goal against the St. Louis Blues in NHL action at Canadian Tire Centre, December 16, 2013. Photo by Jean Levac/Ottawa Citizen

It had to end like that, didn’t it? With the hometown kid scoring the winning goal?

Cody Ceci, in his third game since being recalled from Binghamton, had all of Orleans cheering when he scored his first NHL goal at 3:59 of overtime to give the Ottawa Senators a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues.

In a season of inconsistency, it was one of Ottawa’s better games of the season. Before a crowd of 16,008, Ceci’s snapshot from the blue line beat former Senator Brian Elliott.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Bobby Ryan also scored for the Senators, while Chris Stewart had two goals for the Blues, his eighth and ninth.
Robin Lehner got his first win since Nov. 23 against Detroit. He had come into the game with losses in his last five games.

It looked like the Senators would be getting off to another bad start when, just 24 seconds in, Zack Smith sent St. Louis’ leading scorer, Alexander Steen, to the dressing room with what was recorded as an illegal hit to the head. Steen returned about 10 minutes later and had words as he passed Smith on the Ottawa bench. Smith could also be hearing some words from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.

But the Senators, displaying good jump, killed that penalty and pushed back with a couple of good chances of their own before Pageau got his second of the season at 3:57.

After Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson forced Elliott to make two good saves, Bobby Ryan sent a pass from behind the St. Louis net to Pageau in the slot. He beat a screened Elliott high to the glove side.

Smith gave the Blues another power play 34 seconds after Pageau’s goal when he took a roughing penalty, but Lehner was good, and lucky, and the Senators got out of the first with the lead for only the 12th time in 35 games.

The Senators held their own for most of the second, but with 3:10 left in the period the tide shifted.

First, Derek Roy sent Stewart off on a breakaway and he slipped a shot between Lehner’s legs.

Then, with the final seconds ticking off and the Senators scrambling, Roy gave a backhand pass from the side of the Ottawa net to Stewart at the bottom of the right circle. He snapped a shot past Lehner.

That was an unfortunate end for Lehner, who had played so well before Stewart’s goals.
Just a minute before Stewart’s first, Lehner made the save of the game when he slid to his right and got his pads up to stop a shot from Steen.

 

GAME FILE

WHY THEY WON           

Because they played one of their better games of the season, against one of the tougher teams in the Western Conference, and Robin Lehner matched St. Louis’ Brian Elliott shot-for-shot. Cody Ceci played a strong game and got the winner in OT.

CHEERS

Chris Stewart: He scored twice in the last 3:10 of the second period, once on a breakaway to give the Blues a 2-1 lead, with Derek Roy assisting on both goals.

JEERS

Ottawa’s power play: After being on a hot streak with goals in four straight games, it has gone cold. It was unsuccessful in two attempts against the Blues and is now 0 for 12 over the last four games.

FAMILY NIGHT

It was a good night for the Toronto-born Stewart to score two goals. His father Norman and sister Sarah were at the game. The St. Louis Blues tweeted a picture of them celebrating one of Chris’ goals. Brian Elliott’s father Bill was also at the game.

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