They finally ran out of answers in a seesaw contest. The Islanders went up 1-0, Ottawa tied it 13 seconds later. The Islanders made it 2-0, the Senators knotted it up 2:44 after that. The Senators took their first lead, only to watch it evaporate in 17 seconds. Oh, and all this happened in the first period. When the Islanders finally found the scoresheet again 1:39 into the third, there was no quick response in the offing. Make it 15 losses in 16 games for the struggling Sens.
Rob Schremp, Islanders
His timing was impeccable as he scored two critical goals. Schremp notched the game-tying marker in the dying seconds of the first period to avoid a depressing intermission, then popped in the game-winner in the opening seconds of the third.
Brian Elliott, Senators
An Elliott start has become synonymous with a Senators loss. Elliott didn’t look good on any of the three he allowed before getting the hook after one period. He can’t catch easy pucks thrown at him, can’t control rebounds and can’t avoid the kinds of deflating goals that are killing his team night after night.
That said, he didn’t register the loss because he left with the score tied. That went to Robin Lehner, who was playing a stellar game until he made one very dumb mistake. As both teams left the ice at the end of the second period, Lehner shoved Isles counterpart and fellow rookie Kevin Poulin to the ice. That resulted in a five-on-three for New York, which promptly cashed in the winning goal. Why would Lehner do such a thing, you ask? More on that later.
- 9: Consecutive losses for the Senators.
- 0: Points, and a minus-two rating, for Jason Spezza in his first game back from a separated shoulder.
- 1:28: Ice time for Erik Karlsson in the first period after looking weak on the opening goal.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
The Islanders almost pulled off a rare feat — two goalie fights in as many games. Almost. After Lehner joined a scrum in front of his net late in the second period, Poulin slowly skated towards the Ottawa zone. Then he thought better of it. Maybe it was the fact he gives up height and weight to Lehner, or the fresh memory of Rick DiPietro getting his face broken (literally) in a bout with Pittsburgh’s Brent Johnson three nights earlier, but he quickly returned to the safety of his crease.
It appears Alex Kovalev has finally decided to play some decent hockey now that there’s a chance he’ll be shipped out of town at the trade deadline. He scored his third goal in as many games on a beauty of a wrister that beat Poulin short side.