They wouldn’t go away. The Senators were feeling generous in the first half of this game, giving the puck away with reckless abandon. Thanks to some timely saves by the well-rested Pascal Leclaire, timely goals by Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza and too many lucky bounces to count, they managed to come back from a 2-1 deficit and top the Kings 3-2. The win snapped a three-game losing streak overall and another three-gamer against L.A.
Pascal Leclaire, Senators
For a guy who has barely played this season, Leclaire looked sharp Monday night. The Senators’ sloppy play early could have been costly, but No. 33 made one tricky pad save after another to keep his team close. Expect to see him back between the pipes against Dallas Wednesday.
Jack Johnson, Kings
He lost the puck to Daniel Alfredsson as the lone man back, allowing the Senators’ captain to set up Milan Michalek on the goal that made it 2-2 late in Period 2. Johnson’s plus-minus rating dropped again after he watched Jason Spezza score the game-winning goal at 11:19 of the third period.
Chris Neil celebrated his 600th NHL game doing one of the things that got him there. The Senators’ pugilist dropped the gloves with L.A.’s Kevin Wesgarth in the second period and served up a tidy beating. Credit to Wesgarth for hanging in after losing his footing a couple times, but Neil’s left first was a little too much for him. Neil waved his arms in the air afterwards in an attempt to fire up the crowd and his bench. It seemed to work.
- 28: Saves by Pascal Leclaire.
- 4: Shots on goal by Jason Spezza (one successful).
- 1-5: The Kings’ power play record.
- 2: Video reviews that went in Ottawa’s favour.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
Well, you can say this for Alex Kovalev: He has a flair for the dramatic. He scored his 1,000th career NHL point on an exploding stick one-timer just minutes after writhing on the ice with an apparent knee injury. As the T.V. broadcasts took a timeout, fans rumbled Scotiabank Place with a thunderous standing ovation — a rare show of love for a guy people mostly just rip on sports talk radio.
Speaking of celebrating milestones, Milan Michalek’s 400th NHL game was a beast. He skated hard, played chippy and scored his first goal in seven contests. Getting him back on track will be key for the Senators, who had just eight goals in the five previous games.