LOS ANGELES – The Ottawa Senators delivered a surprise for all of you who turned off the TV early in the game, not interested in watching any more of what started out as a Late Night Horror Show.
It ended up as an Unlikely Early Morning Comeback Story.
The Los Angeles Kings went home with a 4-3 victory after Jeff Carter deflected a shot over the shoulder of Craig Anderson in overtime, but the Senators left Los Angeles with a point that didn’t appear to be within their grasp after an awful opening 20 minutes.
The Kings stormed out to an early 3-0 first period lead, as Los Angeles took full advantage of the Senators parade to the penalty box.
That should be money in the bank for a usual air-tight Kings defence, especially with goaltender Jonathan Quick in net to paint over any cracks.
The Senators didn’t give in to that thinking, however.
Milan Michalek sent the game to overtime, beating Quick high over his trapper to tie the game 3-3. It was the same spot where Bobby Ryan found the range on the power play early in the period to make it 3-2.
It was Ryan’s first goal in a Senators uniform. Ryan, acquired in the blockbuster summer deal, was already feeling considerable heat after failing to score in his opening two games in a Senators uniform.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau got the Senators comeback started, beating Quick between the legs early in the second period.
At that point, however, it seemed like the Kings were still in complete control.
The Kings stormed out to their big early lead on a pair of goals by Brown – one on a bad angle shot past Craig Anderson after he stepped out of the penalty box – and the other on the power play. Jeff Carter also cashed in with the man advantage. Both power play goals came only seconds after 5 on 3 advantages ended.
Brown did way more than simply score. He was his typical annoying self, setting off both Zack Smith and Chris Neil and sending both to the penalty box when they retaliated. The Kings took full advantage of those opportunities.
Clearly, discipline was missing from the Senators lineup in the early going.
So too was captain and No. 1 centre Jason Spezza, who is nursing a sore groin.
Stephane Da Costa began the game in Spezza’s spot on a top line with wingers Milan Michalek and Bobby Ryan, but there was no instant chemistry.
In the second period, Senators coach Paul MacLean endlessly juggled his units to find something.
Some of the units included Pageau centering Ryan and Erik Condra, Da Costa between Colin Greening and Michalek, and Smith as the pivot for Greening and Ryan.
The only line that stayed intact was the Clarke MacArthur-Kyle Turris-Cory Conacher trio.
The Senators are hoping that by missing Wednesday’s game, Spezza could be sufficiently healed to be ready for Saturday’s game against the San Jose Sharks and Sunday’s contest against the Anaheim Ducks.
Milan Michalek, Bobby Ryan, Senators
The Senators were down and out – way, way out – until the top line wingers found the net behind Jonathan Quick in the third period. Michalek and Ryan are supposed to be big line players and they delivered when they had to.
Quibble about the officiating if you want, but the Senators buried themselves with the steady parade to the penalty box. The Kings had a pair of 5-on-3 advantages in the first periods.
WHY THEY LOST
Clarke MacArthur’s penalty late in regulation paved the way for Jeff Carter’s overtime game winner. The Senators would have loved to get two points out of this one, but it still felt a bit like they stole one point.