Senators Win 4-3 (OT) Over Coyotes

Its like every game of this Western California road trip had to follow a script.

After performing much better throughout a scoreless first period, the Ottawa Senators quickly fell back into bad habits early in the second.  The Coyotes scored two goals 1:17 apart off of botched faceoff attempts, putting the Sens behind the 8-ball again.  For a fan base that has already begun to push the panic button, falling behind to begin a contest for the 5th straight game was not going to help things.

Of course, this team still lays claim to being “pesky,” so cue the comeback.  First, Jason Spezza slammed home a loose puck in the Phoenix crease to close the gap to one.  Then, in the third, Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith stopped the puck behind his net and left it for his teammate.  But instead of a Coyotes defenceman, it was Senators forward Colin Greening who took the puck and centred it to Spezza for his 2nd of the game.  Finally, on the power-play, the captain let go a rocket that Mike Smith never saw, completing the natural hat-trick and giving Ottawa the 3-2 lead.

Unfortunately, a late penalty on Chris Phillips allowed Mike Ribeiro to re-direct an Oliver Ekman-Larsson shot by Craig Anderson to tie the game at 3 and send it to extra-time.

But, after Craig Anderson made a couple of huge saves on Coyote rushes, Marc Methot spotted Cory Conacher along the side of the net all alone and the Senators won 4-3 in overtime.  An absolutely huge win to close out the 6 game road trip – one that finished 2-2-2.

The home opener is next on Thursday night against the Devils.

Thoughts from the game.

Jason Spezza – It may have been due to some rust or some lingering effects of his injury, but tonight was the first night that Spezza was noticeable.  His goals may have been “in the right spot at the right time” type of goals, but the point is, he was there.  If Spezza is feeling healthy, he scores all kinds of goals because he isn’t distracted.

Cory Conacher – What a game for Cory Conacher.  He didn’t hit the scoresheet until the OT winner but this guy played his role well Tuesday night.  Conacher was in Mike Smith’s face and causing havoc all around the Coyote net.  His move to the top line was no accident – Conacher will give Spezza & Michalek more space to work with as he’s buzzing around the net.

Callin’ Bingo – I would not be surprised to hear that there are some callups/send downs before Thursday night’s game.  The 4th line barely played and when they did, were not all that effective.  I could see a Pageau for Zibanejad swap happening real soon.

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