The post-game report: Phillips calls his shot

Chris Phillips called his shot.

The post-game report: Phillips calls his shot
Chris Phillips #4 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates after scoring a goal in the second period during an NHL game against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on November 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – Chris Phillips called his shot.

“It’s funny, we were talking about it this morning and I felt like I was going to get one tonight. Spez (Jason Spezza) even said, even if we’re down a couple of goals, we’ll find a way. It’s funny how it worked out.”

Things usually do work out when Phillips scores, as the Senators have an overall record of 52-9-4-2 when the Big Rig finds the twine. This was one of his prettier ones, a boomer of a slapshot to close the gap to 3-2, sparking the comeback win over Washington.

“I actually didn’t see it go in, so it wasn’t my usual celebration (the one-arm salute) if there was such a thing for such a limited goal scorer,” Phillips said.

By now, the Senators have learned not to make too much of a single victory.

Too often, they’ve been followed by losses. But there was a whiff of pride in the Ottawa room after they rallied to beat the Washington Capitals 6-4 in a surprisingly rowdy, see-saw game.

Colin Greening and Chris Neil both fought, as did the team when Washington surged to a 3-1 lead in the first period. Zack Smith took a late game penalty that cost a power play goal, then came right back to score the winner.

“Tonight we found a way,” said goaltender Craig Anderson, who improved his record to 6-7-2.

“I just loved the battle these guys put out there.

“There were a lot of angry guys in here after the first period,” Anderson said. “We held ourselves accountable. Each and every guy knew it wasn’t good enough.”

GOAL FOR GREENING

You probably know how many games it’s been since you scored, a broadcaster said to Greening.

“I’m sure YOU probably do,” Greening said, laughing.

Thirty-two, answered the broadcaster.

“It was just a sigh of relief,” Greening said, after notching his first of the season. “Also, it was the tying goal so that made it a special moment.”

Greening was lauded in dispatches from his coach.

“If he doesn’t get a star, I’m giving him a star,” said Paul MacLean. “I think he was our best player – the physicality of his game, he gets in a fight, he goes to the net. I thought he really had an outstanding game.”

While Anderson noted there some angry players in the room after 20 minutes, MacLean felt the team on the ice responded “not with anger, but intensity.”

BY THE NUMBERS

The Senators had a big night in the circle, winning 58 per cent of faceoffs, stellar success for a road team because visitors have to put sticks in first.

Spezza won 14 of 23 draws for 61 per cent. Smith was 11 for 18, also 61 per cent.

Bobby Ryan quietly had a strong game, with two goals and a team-leading five shots on goal. The exploits of No. 6 were lost in the story lines of Phillips, Greening and Smith.

Centre Mikhail Grabovski was minus-3 for Washington with zero shots. Wonder why he was never in Randy Carlyle’s good graces in Toronto?

Alex Ovechkin had twice as many hits as shots on goal: 6 to 3.

Erik Karlsson led all skaters with 29:38 of ice time including 20:44 at even strength.

Greening was plus 2 with five PIM and four shots.

It was close to midnight before the Senators charter flight left Washington.

So, what’s left in the tank for the Vancouver Canucks Thursday at the CTC?

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