Against the San Jose Sharks on Friday night, his hustle without the
puck and his stick led to the key goal in a 4-2 victory for Ottawa
at Canadian Tire Centre.
After losing possession in Sharks territory, Prince also dropped his
stick but didn't stop his pursuit of San Jose winger Joonas Donskoi.
When passing the Senators bench, Prince grabbed a new stick, lifted
the puck from Donskoi and started a rush up ice that led to a shot
through a crowd by defenseman Chris Wideman that stood as the
"It was a good shift," said Prince, a healthy scratch the previous
five games. "It was a good turnaround."
Also a good turnaround was the way the Senators recovered from a 1-0
deficit after a goal by Sharks center Joe Thornton in the opening
minute of the second period. Entering the night, San Jose had the
second best winning percentage in the league (13-1-0) when scoring
Leading the way on a rally that saw the Senators score four
unanswered goals was winger Bobby Ryan, who had a goal and an
assist. Center Jean-Gabriel Pageau and defensemen Erik Karlsson also
scored for Ottawa.
Sharks defenseman Brent Burns rounded out the scoring with under
three minutes left.
"We thought we had the game, had the chances," said Sharks center
Joe Pavelski. "We just probably got caught opening up a little bit."
Senators goalie Craig Anderson and Sharks goalie Alex Stalock were
both solid as each made 31 saves.
Ryan's goal, which came 4 minutes, 17 seconds after Thornton broke
the ice, was off a beautiful solo effort that saw him undress Sharks
defenseman Justin Braun and jam the puck between Stalock's pads to
send the game into the third tied 1-1.
It was the third consecutive game Ryan was playing with a broken
finger, but the injury clearly didn't bother him on his way to his
11th goal of the season.
"No, I mishandled (the puck) right into the net, five-hole," cracked
Ryan, who moved into second place on the Senators scoring list with
"Bobby's been real good for us," said Senators coach Dave Cameron.
"He's one of those guys at the start of the year that we said if our
team is going to reach its potential, Bobby is going to have to be a
big cog in it, and he has been. With nine fingers."
The win was just the second in five games for the Senators
(17-11-5), while the Sharks (16-15-1) had their winning streak
stopped at two games.
"I think we needed to capitalize on a few of the opportunities we
had early in the game," said Sharks coach Pete DeBoer, whose team
outshot the Senators 13-12 in the opening 20 minutes that also saw
Thornton ring a shot off the post. "I thought in the first period we
had some Grade A looks and Anderson made some saves. It was one of
those games where you knew whoever could get the second goal was
probably going to win and we just couldn't bury one."
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Pageau broke the 1-1 tie when he started a play by winning a
face-off in the offensive zone. After defenseman Cody Ceci's point
shot hit Stalock in the helmet, winger Dave Dziurzynski fired the
puck through the goalie's pads and Pageau raced to the net to push
it over the line.
"I think (Ceci) shot a muffin on net. That's what I told him on the
bench," said Pageau, whose nine goals is one shy of his career high.
"After that Dizzy made a good play, to take the shot. Unfortunately
I stole (the goal) from him, but it happens."
Wideman's goal, his fourth, was his first in 15 games. It was also
his second game winner.
"Feels good to get anything at this point," said Wideman. "I had a
lot of shots the last couple of games. I saw a little daylight, got
it through, and I guess I got lucky a little bit."
Originally, it looked like his shot was deflected in by Prince.
"I would have let him have it," said Wideman. "I just wanted to
The Senators now play two road games, in Tampa Sunday and Florida
Tuesday, before breaking for Christmas. The Sharks play in Chicago
Saturday and Los Angeles Sunday before beginning their break.
NOTES: Sharks G Alex Stalock played his ninth game of the season and
faced the Senators for the second time in his career. Stalock made
38 saves in a 5-2 Sharks victory at Canadian Tire Centre in his
first NHL start Oct. 27, 2013. ... Sharks C Barclay Goodrow replaced
RW Mike Brown in San Jose's only lineup change. ... Senators D Jared
Cowen was a healthy scratch for just the second time this season.
The writing was on the wall for the 2009 first-round pick, who
played a career-low 11:08 in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Capitals.
... Senators LW Shane Prince played for the first time since Dec. 6.
He was a healthy scratch the last five games. The return of Prince
meant Senators D Mark Borowiecki went back to his regular post on
the blue line. For the past five games he had been used primarily as
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