Senators Win 5-2 Over Islanders

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A night after being humbled by the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Senators elected to go with the “kid” to get back into the win column.  Of course, Robin Lehner had his work cut out for him.  Not only was he facing a team he has a bit of a history with, he was up against a club that had a chip on their shoulder after a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Ottawa on Family Day. 

And it didn’t take long for the Islanders to strike.  Just 49 seconds into the game, P.A. Parenteau & John Tavares broke in on a 2 on 1 after Erik Karlsson made a bad pinch.  Tavares’ shot would hit Lehner, but dribble into the net for a 1-0 New York lead.  The Islanders went on to outshoot the Senators 13-8 in the first period and seemed to be in control.

But it all turned around for the Senators during a power-play midway through the second.  In what was a terrifying sight for most Senator fans, Jason Spezza took a Daniel Alfredsson slapshot in the knee area and immediately went off the ice and to the locker room.  Less than a minute later, Milan Michalek backhanded a puck through Evgeni Nabokov and the game was tied.  On the goal, Erik Karlsson recorded his 64th point of the season, surpassing Norm MacIver and becoming the Senators franchise leader in points by a defenceman in one season. 

Then, to the relief of many, Jason Spezza returned to the Senators bench.  And it didn’t take long to make his presence felt.  On Ottawa’s second power-play of the period, Spezza took a pass from Erik Karlsson and wired it by Nabokov to make it 2-1.  It was his 28th of the year and tied him with Michalek for the team lead.

In the third, the Senators fourth line came to play.  First, Jim O’Brien scored his 2nd goal of the season (and second of his career) when he snapped one through Evgeni Nabokov’s glove.  Then, after P.A. Parenteau closed the gap to 1, Chris Neil deflected a slick little pass from Nick Foligno out of mid-air by Nabokov to put the Sens back up by 2.  Kyle Turris’ empty-netter sealed the deal as the Sens went on to a 5-2 victory.

Robin Lehner was sharp after allowing the early goal to Tavares, making 28 saves on 30 shots.  Erik Karlsson’s multi-point game was his 18th of the season, while Jason Spezza reached the 70 point plateau for the first time since 2008-09.  Chris Neil, Nick Foligno, Erik Karlsson & Kyle Turris all contributed 2 points in the win. 

The Senators get the Bruins once again on Tuesday night.

Jason Spezza & Paul MacLean on Spezza’s injury scare.

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Erik Karlsson on becoming the franchise leader in points scored by a defenceman in one season.

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Robin Lehner on the acquisition of Ben Bishop….

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