They finally figured out National Hockey League games start in the first period. The Senators came out flying, racking up 16 shots in the opening frame to Carolina’s nine. Their efforts finally paid off at the tail end of an incredible shift by Mike Fisher, who had a breakaway, flicked defender Tim Gleason away like he was a fruit fly and eventually took a point shot that went off Jussi Jokinen’s back and rainbowed into the net behind Cam Ward. It set the Senators on the right path in a game they deserved to win.
Mike Fisher, Senators
As if his wacky tally wasn’t enough, Fisher pulled his teammates back from the edge of a hockey-pocalypse in the third period. After the Hurricanes erased a 2-0 deficit with goals less than two minutes apart, Fisher took a slap shot from the high slot that beat Ward and held up as the winner. There would have been unbridled panic in the capital had the Senators not pulled this one out.
Jussi Jokinen, Hurricanes
It was a nightmare night for the Finnish winger. You could chalk up the first goal to bad luck, but the Senators’ third was all his fault. He pulled the carpet out from under Carolina’s comeback attempt when he took a four-minute penalty for high-sticking late in the third period. Fisher scores, game over.
A clever move by Cory Clouston to throw Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson out to kill the final 30 seconds of a penalty to Milan Michalek. The latter player jumped out of the box, joined a rush up the ice and finished a tic-tac-toe passing play with his fellow first-liners to give Ottawa a 2-0 lead. It was an insurance goal they wound up cashing in.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
Chris Neil trying to goad Carolina forward Tuomo Ruutu into a fight in the first period. The linesman stepped in quickly, but could you imagine the awkward conversation Neil would have to have with linemate Jarkko Ruutu in the dressing room after? “Dude, sorry I beat up your little brother.”
— 2:06: Ice time for Pascal Leclaire.
— 4: Shots by Carolina in the second period
— 11: Shots by Carolina in the third period
— 39: Shots overall by Ottawa
— 9: Senators giveaways
— 16:Senators takeaways
— 31: Points by Jason Spezza in 25 career games vs. Carolina.
Hit of the night honours go to Carolina defenceman Jay Harrison, who sent Chris Kelly flying backwards as he tried to cross the blue line with the puck in the first period. Best attempted hit of the night goes to Alex Kovalev, who was skating backwards into his zone while covering for a gambling teammate. He lined his man up for a hip check, missed completely and did a backflop into the boards.