The guy who posted the 42-save shutout was in genuine awe of the guy who broke the scoreless deadlock.
“That’s Erik Karlsson,” Senators goaltender Craig Anderson said following the Senators’ 2-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. “Enough said. Period. End of story. He’s just one step ahead of everyone else. He reads the game terrific. He knows when to jump in. He knows when to stay back. He’s so fast. He’s able to do things that other guys aren’t able to do because of his conditioning and the way he skates and just the type of player he is. I love having him back there.”
Or, perhaps, more appropriately, on the ice in front of him. Somewhere.
Karlsson’s game opening goal was yet another rarity: a shorthanded goal from a defenceman jumping up into the rush to create an odd man rush.
“Even though you’re one man short, sometimes you can create momentum there,” he said. “It’s going to be good for the team if you see an opportunity there. You have to take (that chance) every once in awhile. If you see open ice and you have a lot of time and space, I think it’s something you can do, definitely.”
MATCH GAME, MACLEAN STYLE:
Erik Condra spent the first 37 minutes of the game playing on a line with centre Zack Smith and right winger Chris Neil, charged with shutting down the line of Thomas Vanek, Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville.
When coach Paul MacLean opted to switch things up, it took mere seconds for Condra to score his second goal of the season. Condra, taking the spot of Colin Greening on a de facto second line, pounced on a loose puck and chipped it over Ryan Miller for the game’s second goal.
His new linemates, Kyle Turris and Jakob Silfverberg, were creating the traffic in front, exactly the type of effort that MacLean was hoping for when he pushed the club in practice Monday.
Not everyone benefitted from the line juggling, however.
While Kaspars Daugavins moved up from fourth line to take Condra’s spot on the third line with Smith and Neil, Colin Greening slipped to the fourth line from his spot beside Turris and Silfverberg. Greening ended the night with only 9:42 of ice time.
“He was having a tough night,” said MacLean. “We’ve often said, ‘the best players play’ and there was a point in time that we needed to have something better happen and we made the shuffle. I just thought it got to a point where we needed to do that.”
“I thought our team played better after (Karlsson) scored the goal, but at the same time, we did a great job playing the full 60 minutes. It was a real good team win.”
”(Craig Anderson) played very well, with 42 shots, but I thought there were a number of second and third chances that we cleared away that were dangerous ones, especially when we were taking penalties in the third period.”
42: Craig Anderson saves
1.36: Anderson’s goals against average
.956: Anderson’s save percentage
31: Ryan Miller saves
27:40: Erik Karlsson’s ice time
9: Erik Karlsson shots
4: Marc Methot’s hits
26:23: Sergei Gonchar’s ice time
13-7: Kyle Turris’ faceoff record
9:42: Colin Greening’s ice time