Wings embarrass Senators in critical game

In the big picture, it was a loss that may eventually be looked at as the one that ended the Ottawa Senators’ playoff hopes.

Wings embarrass Senators in critical game
Red Wing Tomas Jurco (L) and Tomas Tatar celebrate the 6th goal as Jared Cowen and goalie Robin Lehner react in the 2nd period as the Ottawa Senators take on the Detroit Red Wings in NHL action at Canadian Tire Centre. (Photo by Wayne Cuddington/ Ottawa Citizen)

In the big picture, it was a loss that may eventually be looked at as the one that ended the Ottawa Senators’ playoff hopes.

Not to mention that it was also embarrassing.

With their 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Red Wings, the Senators fell five points behind Detroit in the race for the final wild-card playoff spot.

With only 22 games to go, and as they start a four-game road trip through Western Canada, the Senators may find that too large a gap to bridge.

They almost certainly have to win three of their four road games to have even a remote chance.

When the NHL season resumed after the Olympic break, the Red Wings had just a one-point lead over the Senators. Back-to-back wins over the Montreal Canadiens and the Senators have given them a nice cushion.

Johan Franzen had three goals, one on the power play, while Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco, and Tomas Tatar had one each for the Red Wings.

Only Bobby Ryan scored on Detroit goalie Jonas Gustavsson, who faced 38 shots.

Robin Lehner got chased at 5:04 of the second period after allowing six goals on 15 shots. With Craig Anderson in Florida for the birth of his second child, that gave Andrew Hammond, freshly recalled from Binghamton, his first NHL appearance.

He faced nine shots and didn’t allow a goal.

The Senators very briefly held the upper hand in the first period, when it appeared Ryan had scored from a scrum in front of Gustavsson at 3:04.

But referee Dave Jackson waved it off immediately and a video review revealed that Ryan had kicked it in.

It was all downhill from there.

Cody Ceci gave the Red Wings their first opening at 10:59 when he made a perfect backhand pass to Sheahan in the left circle that ended up in the top right hand circle behind Lehner.

Then, 29 seconds later, a series of defensive misadventures orchestrated by Jared Cowen let Gustav Nyquist thread a pass from the right circle across to Franzen in the left.

Two minutes later, with the Wings on a power play, Franzen froze Lehner from the right circle and put a shot in the far corner.

Finally, with two minutes left in the period and the Wings on a delayed penalty, Jurco made it 4-0.

Franzen completed his hat trick 3:49 into the second with shot from in tight to the top right corner.

Ryan responded 30 seconds after that, but when Tatar beat Lehner at 5:04 — completing a span that gave the fans three goals in 1:15. That was it for Lehner. And for the Senators.

GAME FILE

WHY THEY LOST

Giveaways (Cody Ceci), defensive misadventures (Jared Cowen), and an off-night from Robin Lehner allowed the Red Wings to take a 4-0 first-period lead. From there, the game was effectively over.

CHEERS

Johan Franzen, Wings

He loves Ottawa, leaving with the third hat trick of his career and first since 2011. He’s had 11 goals in his last four games here.

JEERS

Jared Cowen, Senators

He was on the ice for four of Detroit’s six goals, picking up right where he left off before the Olympic break, when he was on the ice for six of Boston’s goals in Ottawa’s 7-2 loss.

ROBIN LEHNER’S NIGHTMARE

He should beg off when Johan Franzen and the Red Wings visit. Franzen has made Lehner his favourite opponent. In a five-goal game in Ottawa on Feb. 2, 2011, a 7-5 Detroit win, Franzen got two of them on the then-rookie Lehner.

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