WHY THE SENATORS WON
Their special teams were particularly special. This was a bit of a mismatch: The Senators entered this game with the NHL’s fourth-worst penalty kill, while the Wild have been excellent with the man advantage. Yet despite getting three power plays — including a lengthy 5-on-3 — in the first period, Minnesota couldn’t find the back of the net. The Senators, on the other hand, cashed in on two of their three chances.
Erik Karlsson, Senators
The young defenceman, who has been on fire of late, made his pops proud Wednesday night. Karlsson picked up his 12th, 13th and 14th assists of the season, boosting his points total to seven in his last five games. Hard to believe he was one of Ottawa’s worst players at the beginning of the season.
Antti Miettinen, Wild
Is this a totally arbitrary pick? Sure is. But Miettinen is one of the players the Wild count on to generate offence and he was one of only two forwards not to take a shot. Minnesota has struggled almost as much as Ottawa to score this season. The Senators entered this game ranked 28th in offence with 2.22 goals per game, while the Wild were 26th with 2.45.
It was one of the stranger turning points you’ll ever see in a game. The Wild thought they’d taken a 2-1 lead midway through the second period, only to find themselves down 2-1 seconds later. As they celebrated an apparent goal, an official skated over to the bench, waved it off and assessed a too many men penalty. Obvious question of the night: If there was an infraction on the play, why wasn’t it whistled down? Whatever the reason, it took the Senators just seven seconds to cash in on the ensuing power play.
- 23: Saves for Ottawa netminder Pascal Leclaire.
- 0-4: Minnesota’s power play.
- 2-3: Ottawa’s power play.
- 2: Consecutive games with a goal for Daniel Alfredsson.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
Brian Lee’s homecoming. Lee, the 23-year-old former first round pick who was scratched in 25 straight games prior to this one, finally inched his way back into the lineup thanks to a minor injury to defenceman Matt Carkner. The Minnesota native had a very quiet night, which is probably a good thing. The final line: zero goals, zero assists, zero points, two penalty minutes and no major mistakes. He played 16:38.
This one was a low-scoring affair, but things could have gotten…wild. Chris Phillips robbed Minnesota forwards Eric Nystrom and Pierre-Marc Bouchard of sure goals with great shot blocks, while the Senators hit both the crossbar and post. Nick Foligno, who dinged the latter, did pop in the game-winner at 11:21 of the second period.