WHY THE SENATORS LOST
They were soft as butter on the puck early in the game and the ‘Canes made them pay. It was a little surprising considering the stakes. After a run of bad games made the playoffs look like a pipe dream, this was an opportunity get back into the conversation. The Senators entered the contest tied with Carolina (albeit having played two more games), just six points back of the free-falling Montreal Canadiens. Ottawa needed a win and didn’t get it.
Zach Boychuk, Hurricanes
The youngster used his speed to pull away from checker Jesse Winchester and catch Ottawa netminder Brian Elliott napping midway through the first period. Boychuk zipped around the net and buried a wraparound for his first goal of the season, then picked up his second about four minutes later.
Brian Elliott, Senators
It wasn’t the only lousy goal Elliott let in. Carolina’s third bounced in off Mike Fisher, but that only happened because of the massive rebound off Elliott’s right pad. He just waved at the fourth goal, a slow shot to the glove side that should be a routine save in the NHL. Elliott finished with XX stops.
Missed opportunities. The Senators had plenty of chances to get back into this game in the second period after falling down 2-0. First, Chris Kelly got ‘Canes goalie Cam Ward to over-commit, only to hit the post with his shot. Chris Campoli also cannoned one off iron. Then Ward bobbled another shot that landed right in front of Mike Fisher, who failed to pump the puck in at the side of the net…and it went on like that. Carolina emerged unscathed, however, and put the game away with its third goal at 15:14.
- 37: Saves for Cam Ward in his second shutout of the season.
- 14: Senators who finished at least a minus-one.
- 12: Senators with two or more shots.
- 9:57: Ice time for Zack Smith, called up to replace the injured Jason Spezza.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
A funny bit of slapstick hockey in the first period. It looked like the trainers might be picking Joe Corvo up off the ice with a dust pan after both Chris Neil and Jarkko Ruutu zeroed in on him behind the Carolina net and prepared to deliver a crushing double-check. Instead, by some act of physics, the Senators’ agitators made contact and bounced down to the ice, leaving former Ottawa defenceman Corvo standing tall (and all in one piece).
If he has recovered from the broken leg he suffered earlier this season, he certainly isn’t showing it. His tentativeness was blatantly obvious on Boychuk’s second goal, as Tuomo Ruutu muscled him off the puck and passed to Zach. Kuba slammed his stick into the ice, shattering it, as the ‘Canes celebrated around him.