In a strange afternoon game, the magic momentum-riding Ottawa Senators hit an oil-slick and made their third notch in the L column.
After struggling goalie Devan Dubnyk decided to play the best game of his season, the Sens were stumped by a zesty Oilers team that used their speed and quick puck movement to win the game by a score of 3-1.
Even a flukey Chris Neil goal at 14:12 in the third (that somehow landed between Dubnyk’s shoulder and the crossbar and then fell into the net) couldn’t spark what looked like a tired Sens team.
And one would think that if anyone could help with an oil change, it would be Chris Neil – but no such luck.*
The Sens finally outshot their opponent by a count of 36 to 20, but Dubnyk shut the door on any decent chances (including a point blank robbing of Conacher).
The young Oilers were lighting it up as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins netted two goals, Jordan Eberle added a goal and an assist, but Taylor Hall left the game with a knee injury after a collision with Eric ‘Oiler Killer’ Gryba (too soon again?) – Hall showed his disgust for the large D-man by taking a flailing but far-away whack at Gryba (resulting in a penalty that Ottawa didn’t score on).
Hall was seen wearing a brace after the game.
Even Bobby Ryan left the ice for a while, near the end of the first period, after awkwardly jamming his knee into the Edmonton goal post. He did return, though, but he wasn’t able to add any Ryan-esque goals to the effort.
C-man Spezza didn’t seem overly upset about the loss, but took part of the blame for missing the net a few times (and even breaking the glass on one of his heat-seeking slappers):
“We’re trying to make a conscious effort of shooting the puck – I missed the net way too many times tonight. We’re putting pucks on net, we’re doing what they’re telling us to do and tonight we just couldn’t put the puck in the net, for whatever reason, but we did a lot of better things tonight,” Spezza said.
At any rate, the Sens played well on a fundamental level, but a few early penalties and bad bounces were the difference makers.
On Wednesday, the 3-3-3 Kanata Kids head to Detroit to take on their old captain Daniel Alfredsson and the rollin’ Red Wings.
(* = Chris Neil is the official TV and radio commercial spokesperson for the Oil Changers company in Ottawa)