[March 29, 2014]OTTAWA — Ottawa Senators goaltender
Craig Anderson started to make up for lost time Friday night.
Returning from an undisclosed upper-body injury that resulted in
18 days between starts, Anderson made 46 saves as the Senators
defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 in front of 18,922 fans at
Canadian Tire Centre.
The win was crucial for the Senators, who pretty well need to run
the table to have any chance of making the playoffs.
Anderson's heroics included stopping 21 of 23 shots in the second
period as the Senators bent, but did not break while guarding a 3-0
"He was well rested so he was ready for the onslaught that came in
the period," Senators coach Paul MacLean said of his No. 1
netminder. "Anytime you beat the Stanley Cup champion, it's a big
night for your team. We knew that in playing them, we were going to
play without the puck for a majority of the game, so we had to make
sure we played well defensively.
"They made us play in our zone, it was a difficult second period.
But I thought we stayed true to our defensive work and we allowed
our goalie to be the goalie. That ended up being a big difference in
the game ... that going into the third we were still ahead."
The Senators were led by winger Clarke MacArthur, who had a goal and
two assists. Also scoring for Ottawa were wingers Erik Condra and
Milan Michalek, center Kyle Turris and defenseman Cody Ceci.
Wingers Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa and defenseman Brent Seabrook
replied for Chicago.
Backup goalie Antti Raanta was given the start between the pipes and
faced 29 shots.
"It was a frustrating one out there," said Sharp. "I thought we had
a good second period, but did a lot of things in the first and third
that ultimately cost us the game.
"We had the puck a lot, we created some scoring chances, we did some
good things with it at times in the game, but a few mistakes ended
up in the back of our net."
The Senators head start began with a short-handed effort by Condra
midway through the first period. They added goals 53 seconds apart,
sandwiched around the intermission, when Ceci scored on a point shot
with a half minute to go in the first and Michalek finished off a
passing play with a tap in 23 seconds into the second period.
Sharp scored on a power play midway through the second and then
Hossa capitalized on a Ottawa turnover in the last minute of the
period to close the gap, but the Senators restored their three-goal
cushion with goals by Turris, on the power play, and MacArthur, on a
breakaway, before the final period was 11 minutes old.
Seabrook's goal was off a fluttering slap shot that went over
Anderson's shoulder, hit him in the back and rolled into the net
with three minutes left. In other words, too little, too late.
The loss was the second in a row for the Blackhawks, who suffered a
3-0 defeat Thursday night in Boston.
Chicago is now officially on just its eighth losing streak of the
"Sloppy turnovers, sloppy mistakes that we really need to get out of
our system. Simple as that," Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews said
in summing up the night from his team's perspective. "We've got to
play some character hockey and show that we have some experience
going through some moments where maybe we're not getting the bounces
and just stay with it.
"It's a frustrating way to lose tonight but we know there's a lot of
little things we can tighten up on and we'll only have to score a
couple of goals to win the game. That obviously wasn't the case
While this is not a good time of the season to be slip from form, it
could be worse, Toews pointed out.
"Better now than two or three weeks from now," he said. "That's the
way we're going to look at it. We know how good of a team we can be.
We haven't shown it the last couple of games. We're not going to
make any excuses for why that is, but we'll address the small parts
of our game that aren't going so well right now, and we'll get
better at it and not let it snowball the wrong way on us."
The Blackhawks finish up a their three-game road trip when they
visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. The Senators, who just
began a five-game homestand, host the Calgary Flames on Sunday.
They'll have to win the next four to stay alive, as they are now six
points back of the last wildcard spot with just nine games
They're better equipped at making a run, however, now that there No.
1 goalie is back.
"The bottom line is we got two points and we found a way to win.
That's all that really matters," said Anderson. "We played pretty
solid and, for the most part, we did what it took to get the job
"It felt to good come back from my 'whatever' injury, get back in
there, get back in the saddle and I think it was good to see a lot
of shots. You don't have time to think."
NOTES: Senators G Craig Anderson, who was born a 12-mile drive from
Chicago in Park Ridge, Ill., was making his first start since March
10. He was the backup the last two games after missing five with an
upper-body injury. ... Playing for just the third time since Jan.
23, Blackhawks G Antti Raanta was felled by a C Jason Spezza shot
that hit him in the side of the leg 12:50 in the first period. After
spending a few moments flat on the ice, Raanta convinced the trainer
he was good enough to stay in the game. ... Senators RW Erik Condra
ended a 25-game slump when he scored in the first period. It was the
Senators fifth shorthanded goal of the season. ... Making his NHL
debut, it appeared Blackhawks LW Matt Carey was the victim of a team
prank when he bolted from the dressing room to the ice for pre-game
warmup, clearly thinking his teammates were right behind him. Carey
skated a half of a lap or so before realizing they were still in the
hallway watching him.