Senators Lose 4-3 (OT) to Kings

It was the first game of the California road trip and the Senators had to play it without their captain.  Jason Spezza was held out of the lineup Wednesday night as the coaching staff elected to err on the side of caution when it came to No. 19’s groin strain.    Stephane Da Costa took Spezza’s place on the top line between Bobby Ryan & Milan Michalek.

But all would not go well.  After some early pressure on the Kings and Jonathan Quick, everything fell apart for the Senators when Bobby Ryan’s errant slapshot sprung Dustin Brown in alone on Craig Anderson.  Brown would capitalize on the gift and go on to dominate the period – drawing penalties that led to 2 more power-play goals, including  one more for himself.

But the Senators fought back.  A physical shift by the Condra-Pageau-Kassian line led to a JGP goal in the second. Then in the third, a couple of key saves by Anderson, followed by Bobby Ryan’s first goal as a Senator brought Ottawa within one with just over 10 minutes to play.

Of course, this is the Pesky Sens we’re talking about – so with about 4 minutes remaining, Milan Michalek found the puck in a scrum and shot it past a screened Quick to tie the game at 3.  Absolutely incredible after that horrific first period.

Unfortunately,  what cost them in the first, cost them in the overtime period.  Jeff Carter scored his 2nd goal of the game on a carried over power-play – once again, playing with the emotions of Senator fans – and giving the Kings the 4-3 victory.

Thoughts from the game:

1. Pesky is still here.  One of the main reasons Senator fans fell in love with last season’s team was its never say die attitude and ability to comeback in games.  Looks like that mantra has carried over into this season.

2. Importance of leadership/coaching – The inexperience of this Ottawa squad was evident during their first period breakdown.  Paul MacLean was shown trying to calm everyone down as penalty after penalty was being taken during a time of panic.  The leaders of this group must have gotten their message across during the intermission, as it was a different Senator club after the first period.

3. Too many passes – The Senators were guilty of making one pass too many all night long, ruining numerous scoring chances.

4.  Joe Corvo – With his 2 assists and overall decent play – Corvo is going to keep Eric Gryba in the pressbox.

5. Time for Lehner – While Craig Anderson hasn’t been horrible, he has allowed a few stinkers and has started all 3 games so far.  I think its time we see Robin Lehner make his season debut in either San Jose or Anaheim.

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