Post-game report: Sens survive bully Blues

Paul MacLean was pleased with how his Senators team responded to the neighbourhood bullies from St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS – Paul MacLean was pleased with how his Senators team responded to the neighbourhood bullies from St. Louis.

“It was a great effort,” said the Senators head coach, after Ottawa’s stunning 5-4 shootout victory, clawing back after being down 3-1 after 40 minutes.

“The Blues tried to bully us for most of the game and I thought we stood up and said ‘you’re not going to do that to us.’ I think we gave a great account of ourselves.”

The Senators had to kill off seven minor penalties to one for the Blues.

“It was frustrating for a couple of reasons,” said centre Kyle Turris, of the challenges faced by the Senators. “We just talked in the room, that we just have to play and not worry about things. Match their physicality. And kind of take it to them. That’s what we did in the third.”

TIME TALES

That penalty killing effort meant huge minutes for some of Ottawa’s defencemen:

Erik Karlsson: 29:30.
Jared Cowen: 28:26.

Eric Gryba: 25:38.
Marc Methot: 24:54.

Defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk and forward David Backes let all shooters with 7 shots on Lehner. Backes had a goal. Mika Zibanejad, Milan Michalek and Clarke MacArthur had four shots each on Jaro Halak.

Considering his impact on the game, one goal, two assists (both on no-look passes) and a plus two, it was somewhat surprising to see Jason Spezza played just 16:18, but this is again due to penalties, as the captain is not part of the PK unit.

Blues captain David Backes played 21:24, or five more minutes than captain Spezza.

SHOOTOUT KINGS

While Zibanejad, Stephane Da Costa and Turris all scored in the shootout, MacLean said he could take no credit for the winning selection of shooters. He leaves that chore to his assistants. Zibanejad and Da Costa both beat Halak on backhand dekes while Turris ripped a forehand past him.

Suffice to say, the Blues continue to pursue goaltending options via trade.

Halak allowed four goals on 31 Ottawa shots in regulation and three more in the shootout.

PUCK GETS STUCK

Among the bizarre scenes of a wild game, a shot by T.J. Oshie disappeared after getting lodged in the top of the net.

“I heard the sound of the bar and then I didn’t see it,” Lehner said. “Oshie came back and saw the puck and then I saw the puck. It was a nice goal.

“No one knew. I thought it was up in the stands.”

“It would’ve been nice if the ref had let the play go fast and it wouldn’t have counted.”

The Senators were miffed at some of the referee calls, and the lack of a call on a brutal high hit by Shattenkirk on Michalek. But they rose above it, killing off a 5-on-3 Blues advantage for nearly two full minutes of the second period in a 1-1 game.

“We just had to watch it and tolerate it,” MacLean said.

Except for the point where Clarke MacArthur received a 10-minute misconduct after pounding his stick on the ice after the second period buzzer to say to a referee, “give us a chance.”

TRAVEL ISSUES

The Senators did not arrive in Ottawa until the wee hours of Wednesday morning, after sitting on an airport tarmac in St. Louis for more than two hours waiting to get their charter plane de-iced. St. Louis was hit by a snowstorm on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

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