The family factor wore off. The Senators appeared headed for a 4-0 record over the past two seasons when playing in front of their fathers, but their luck finally ran out in the thin air of Denver, Colorado. Okay, maybe it had more to with Ottawa blowing four leads in the second of back-to-back road games in different time zones. The Senators played well enough to win this one at times, but the Avalanche’s young guns game through in the end.
Matt Duchene, Avalanche
The Colorado blue-chipper was the best of the Avs’ bunch Friday night. He picked up two goals, including the game-winner at 2:36 of overtime. It’s looking more and more like the third-overall draft pick in 2009 should have gone No. 1.
Brian Elliott, Senators
Both the Senators and Avalanche were pitiful in their own zones, but their goaltenders didn’t help matters much. Elliott allowed six goals on 25 shots, which doesn’t often result in two points. He shouldn’t feel too bad though — Colorado goalie Craig Anderson was actually worse and would have been in this slot had he lost.
This game had more swings than a tire on a rope. The final one went in Colorado’s favour. Daniel Alfredsson turned the puck over to Duchene deep in the Avs’ zone in overtime, allowing the speedster to rip up the ice towards Elliott. Alfredsson tried initially to make up for his mistake by skating back hard, but he just didn’t have the legs to catch up. Goal in, game over. On the plus side, Alfredsson did extend his personal goal-scoring steak to three games.
- 4: Avalanche players with multi-point games.
- 12: Senators with at least one point.
- 8: Combined power play opportunities, including a five-on-three for each team.
- 4: Consecutive wins for the Avalanche over the Senators.
- 5: Consecutive wins overall for Colorado.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
As expected, Senators coach Cory Clouston opted to go with Pascal Leclaire in this game after the netminder had a great outing in Minnesota the night before. Then, a familiar story. Leclaire suffered an injury in warm-ups and couldn’t go, thus unexpectedly forcing Elliott into action. It was a tough situation for Elliott, but not one he’s unaccustomed to.
If you thought Erik Karlsson’s first period goal looked familiar, you’d be right. He broke to the net, wound up and faked a shot by slapping his stick hard on the ice — a move that froze Anderson just long enough for Karlsson to wrist a top corner shot. It was the exact same move Edmonton’s Linus Omark used last week to bury the most controversial shootout goal in NHL history (Karlsson didn’t start the play with a needless spinerama, however).