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Spezza Shoots Sens Past Carolina: Senators 3, Hurricanes 2 SO

Jason Spezza scored a goal in regulation, then scored the only goal in the shootout as the Ottawa Senators held on to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2 in front of 12,083 at the RBC Center. 

After a scoreless first period, the Senators took a 2-0 lead in the second and held onto it until there was just 4:52 left in the third period.  

Zenon Konopka scored first on a 2-on-1 advantage as he whistled a shot past Cam Ward.  Spezza scored the other during Ottawa's only powerplay of the game.

Late in the third, Tuomo Ruutu gave the home team some life as he buried a loose puck in front of the Ottawa net.  The Sens failed to touch up on it, on what looked like an obvious icing call.  Goalie Craig Anderson allowed the puck to roll in front of his net, and the Finn took full advantage.

"We had a guy down hustling on the play, and the puck bounced right to me," said Ruutu after the game.

The Canes could generate very little up to that fluky goal, but the score did give them new life and they spent more time in the Ottawa end after that.   They tied the score with just 2:31 left when Jamie McBain fired a puck from the point which was touched by Jeff Skinner before skittering past Anderson.   It was the team's first powerplay tally of the contest.

After a listless second period and over 10 minutes of zero shots on goal to start the third, the Canes had a hard time generating much of anything against the young Senators team, who won their third straight. 

But the team was full of jump late as they finally were able to spend some time in the Ottawa zone while putting six shots on goal in the scoreless overtime period, which equaled their total for the entire third period. 

In the shootout, Jeff Skinner, Jussi Jokinen, and Ruutu were each stopped by Anderson while Spezza beat Cam Ward 5-hole for the game winner.  

Game Notes:

  • It was an ugly game at times for the home team as they went long periods of time without generating scoring chances or shots.  After a decent first period, (15 shots), they only got seven shots in the second and six in the third, all after the 10 minute mark. 
  • Jay Harrison led the way with six shots on goal.  Joni Pitkanen had five.
  • Captain Eric Staal, who has been the subject of several articles of late, was hustling all night long, but was not rewarded with any remarkable scoring chances.  He did finish with a +1 and was credited with an assist on the Skinner goal late. He had 22:52 of ice time.
  • After a strong start, the team finished up winning 53% of their faceoffs.  (Staal 50%, Sutter 50%, Jokinen 50%, LaRose 40%)  (LaRose was getting the call after Jokinen was getting booted).
  • Paul Maurice said that he was pretty happy with Zach Boychuk's game, but he is not ready to take a right winger's spot in front of him yet.  He was also asked about not using Brandon Sutter in the shootout, (because he has scored on a couple of breakaways) to which the coach replied that Sutter is traditionally not good at shootouts.
  • The team had 18 hits, led by Bryan Allen with four. 
  • Pitkanen had a game high 28:56 of ice time. 
  • The Canes were 1-4 on the powerplay while the Sens were 1-1.    

Post game interviews next: