WHY THE SENATORS LOST
It was an emotionally and physically draining day for the Ottawa Senators and it showed. After attending a morning memorial service at Scotiabank Place for assistant coach Luke Richardson’s daughter, Daron, they headed straight to the airport to catch a flight to Raleigh. The Hurricanes, looking to bounce back from two straight blowout losses, saw an opportunity and pounced. They were all over the Senators from the get-go, running up a 4-0 score before the game was 17 minutes old.
Eric Staal, Hurricanes
The Hurricanes’ captain was the biggest contributor to the turnaround, continually powering his way to the front of the Ottawa net and refusing to budge. He pumped in three goals from in close — the first of which marked No. 200 for his NHL career — and added two assists. Chad LaRose also notched a couple for Carolina, while Jussi Jokinen picked up two helpers.
Brian Elliott, Senators
It’s always tough to pick on a goalie when the whole team is struggling, but the Senators needed Elliott to hold the fort while they found their legs. The first two goals he let in were questionable, as the ‘Canes snuck pucks though his catching arm and five-hole. He got the hook after allowing four goals on 16 shots.
There wasn’t much that was going to change the final outcome of this one, but at least the decision to put Pascal Leclaire in slowed the Hurricanes’ charge for a while. The Senators got a jolt out of the move and Leclaire kept Carolina off the board in the second period. The dam finally broke late the third period, but considering the chances Ottawa gave up, this one could have been much worse than the 7-1 score indicated.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
The Senators aren’t the only ones rallying around the Richardson family. The Hurricanes were the second straight team to observe a moment of silence prior to a game against Ottawa. A photo appeared on the scoreboard screen with the text “In Memory, Daron Richardson.” The Philadelphia Flyers made a similar gesture on Monday night.
- 6: Consecutive losses for the Senators at the RBC Center.
- 3: Losses in their last four games.
- .750: Brian Elliott’s save percentage.
- 15: Goals allowed by the ‘Canes in their previous two games.
Earlier this season, Senators general manager Bryan Murray threatened to start trading players if his team didn’t get things turned around. They did. Carolina boss Jim Rutherford didn’t even bother with the treats and started dealing. A few hours before Wednesday’s game, he sent defenceman Anton Babchuk and forward Tom Kostopoulos to the Calgary Flames in exchange for Ian White and Brett Sutter. Message sent, message received.