Game file: Ottawa Senators at Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 7, 2011

They couldn’t overcome an early deficit to the best team in the league.

Game file: Ottawa Senators at Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 7, 2011

WHY THE SENATORS LOST

They couldn’t overcome an early deficit to the best team in the league. The Senators gave up three goals in the first 23 minutes of this one and appeared headed for another rout. Instead, they fought back to keep it respectable with two goals and a ton of pressure in the second and third periods. Sure, it’s only a moral victory, but maybe they need to be happy with that at this point. They don’t have an actual hockey victory in 10 straight tries.

STUD

Mikael Samuelsson, Canucks

Plenty of good candidates here, but we’ll give the nod to Samuelsson for notching the game-winning goal and locking it down with an empty-netter. He also had an assist. Hat tip to Mason Raymond as well — he had three helpers on the night.

DUD

Filip Kuba, Senators

Another tough night in a long string of them. Kuba was often out of position and weak on the puck (including on the play that led to Samuelsson’s first goal). He finished a minus-two and has zero points in his last 16 games.

GAME CHANGER

A few centimeters here and a few there? After drawing to within a goal in the second period, Ottawa hit three posts in the second period alone. That said, the Senators still squandered plenty of opportunities to put a few goals on the board earlier in the game. They went zero for five on the power play, which helped put them in that deep hole.

KEY STATS

- 2004: The Senators’ last win in Vancouver.
- 6: Consecutive wins for the surging Canucks.
- 7-0-1: Vancouver’s record in its last eight games against Ottawa.
- 26: Saves for Brian Elliott in a losing cause.
- 32: Stops for Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo.
- 2: Points for Jason Spezza in his second game back from a separated shoulder.

YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

This game, considering it started at 10 p.m. in the nation’s capital. Which would be a shame, because then you would have missed a heckuva goal by Nick Foligno. The Senators’ young winger received the puck in the slot, did an on-the-spot spinerama to shake his man and put a pretty difficult backhand shot into the top corner past Luongo’s outstretched glove. It was pretty obvious how badly Foligno wanted the win — a few minutes later he pulled a death-defying shot block attempt, diving head-first in front of a puck. Fortunately for him, it sailed high towards the net.

FREEBIE

The likelihood of witnessing a three-on-none in an NHL game that doesn’t have the descriptor “All-Star” attached to it is about on par with spotting Sasquatch roaming the countryside. It really did happen in this game, though. Really! The Canucks were caught on a bad line change, allowing Jason Spezza to waltz into the Vancouver zone with numbers. He did all the work himself, however, taking a shot and then banging in the rebound.

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