Senators Lose 3-2 to Sharks

This morning’s skate revealed several pieces of news for Senator fans.  First, it was announced that the captain Jason Spezza would return after resting his groin strain.  Then, Robin Lehner was named this evening’s starting goaltender.  Finally, after taking a puck in the face during practice, Joe Corvo would not play and Eric Gryba would take his place.

Unfortunately, any lift that may have come from all these changes was quickly erased by the Sharks.  An onslaught of San Jose pressure resulted in a goal just 55 seconds in as Tomas Hertl kept his hot streak alive with his 7th goal of the season,.  However, after Chris Neil took down a much larger & younger opponent in Matt Pelech, things turned around for Ottawa.  Zack Smith tied the game when a failed clearing attempt landed on his stick.  Then, 33 seconds into a power-play, Jason Spezza found Bobby Ryan sneaking in the backdoor to give the Senators a lead nobody thought was possible 1 minute into the game.

But the Senators’ issues with dumb penalties cost them the game.  Patrick Marleau evened the score in the second during a Milan Michalek penalty for tripping in the offensive zone.  In the third, Brent Burns scored just 1 second after a Jason Spezza roughing penalty expired to give the Sharks the lead they never gave up again.

Thoughts from the game:

1) Robin Lehner – Lehner was fantastic tonight and single-handedly kept the Senators in the game against an obviously superior opponent.  Lehner tied a franchise record for most saves in a regular season game (47) and faced 50 shots in total.  Ottawa couldn’t have asked for anything more from the young Swede’s first start of the season.

2) Too many penalties – Penalties continue to plague the Senators.  As long as this team racks up the PIMS, they will have trouble defeating the elite of this league.  You can’t allow the best players on any team to get any type of advantage, let alone a man advantage.

3) Still, not a bad effort – The Sharks may be the best team in the league and the Senators hung in there and gave them a good go – in their building no less.  Good showing.

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