Sens bat­tled but came away empty-handed

The Beacon Herald - - SPORTS - BRUCE GAR­RIOCH

The Ot­tawa Se­na­tors bat­tled back Thurs­day night but came away empty-handed.

And, this won’t be with­out con­tro­versy.

While the Se­na­tors were able to erase a two-goal third-pe­riod lead, the ef­fort fell short as they dropped a 5-3 de­ci­sion to the Ve­gas Golden Knights in front of 15,213 at the Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre.

Though Thomas Chabot, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzin­gel did the scor­ing on Marc-An­dre Fleury for the Se­na­tors, the Knights got timely goals from Pierre-Edouard Belle­mare, Wil­liam Car­rier, Nick Holden, Shea Theodore and Jonathan Marches­sault.

The Se­na­tors will be livid with Belle­mare’s goal with 7:59 left in the third. With Car­rier on top of him, Craig An­der­son wasn’t able to get up to make the save. The Se­na­tors chal­lenged for in­ter­fer­ence but it was ruled a goal.

An­der­son wasn’t happy be­cause he couldn’t move and was giv­ing the of­fi­cials an ear­ful late in the third pe­riod. It was ruled a goal be­cause the league be­lieved An­der­son tripped up Car­rier but it didn’t look like the Se­na­tors were buy­ing that ex­pla­na­tion.

“The sit­u­a­tion room de­ter­mined that An­der­son ini­ti­ated con­tact with Car­rier, who was out­side the goal crease prior to the goal,” the league said in its ex­pla­na­tion.

Only 1:15 af­ter the Se­na­tors tied it up, the Knights pulled ahead 4-3 on Car­rier’s sec­ond of the sea­son. He was able to bat­tle off a check to beat An­der­son with a back­han­der at 9:15 to re­store the lead for Ve­gas.

In a span of 1:04, the Se­na­tors erased the Knights’ two-goal lead and tied it up 3-3. Af­ter a scram­ble in front, the puck landed on Chabot’s stick and he fired into an empty net at 8:01 for his fifth of the sea­son.

Coach Guy Boucher had changed all the line com­bi­na­tions in the third to get some of­fence go­ing and it worked. Re­turn­ing to the lineup af­ter a three-week ab­sence with a torn lig­a­ment, rookie Brady Tkachuk skated with Mark Stone and Duchene.

It was Dzin­gel that started the game there, but skated with Chris Tier­ney and Bobby Ryan in the third. Dzin­gel turned this into a one-goal game with his sev­enth of the year when he beat Fleury on the glove side at 6:57.

Trail­ing 3-1 af­ter 40 min­utes, the Se­na­tors had been out­shot 28-18 by the Knights and out played.

While they fell be­hind 3-0 with only 2:21 left in the sec­ond, Du chen e’ s fifth of the sea­son at 29 sec­onds later got Ot­tawa on the board. He went to the net and pushed the puck by Fleury to give the Se­na­tors some hope go­ing into the third pe­riod.

You don’t see play­ers drop the gloves much any­more, but Mark Borowiecki and Ryan Reaves had a good bout with 2:32 left in the sec­ond pe­riod. It was right af­ter the Knights pulled ahead 3-0 and, per­haps, that sparked the bench a bit.

Up un­til then, it hadn’t looked very good for Ot­tawa.

The Se­na­tors were al­low­ing the Knights to get too many chances on An­der­son and they weren’t putting nearly enough pres­sure on Fleury. It looked like Ve­gas had taken a com­mand­ing lead when Holden was able to get up and over An­der­son.

The Se­na­tors were their own worst en­e­mies in the first.

They fell be­hind 2-0 as they al­lowed Ve­gas to score twice on the power play. The sec­ond one was a po­ten­tial back­breaker. It came on a one-timer by Theodore from the point with only 20 sec­ond left in the pe­riod.

While the Se­na­tors got off to a good start and forced Fleury to make some good stops by push­ing the pace, it was Marches­sault that opened the scor­ing with his sev­enth of the sea­son. He fired it by An­der­son on the stick side.

An­der­son feel­ing fine

The 37-year-old An­der­son, who will carry the bulk of the work while Mike Condon is in Belleville, made his 13th con­sec­u­tive ap­pear­ance in the club’s net against the Knights.

The pre­vi­ous time he didn’t par­tic­i­pate in a game was Oct. 8 against the Bos­ton Bru­ins on the road. An­der­son doesn’t mind the work­load and the coach­ing staff has done a good job work­ing with train­ing staff to make sure he’s get­ting the proper rest.

“Days off for prac­tice is go­ing to be key,” said An­der­son be­fore fac­ing the Knights. “Stay­ing in the gym, we’ve kind of got a good reg­i­men in there, as far as phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity to flush the legs and stay fresh.

“We’re do­ing the right things right now and ev­ery day I’m com­ing to the rink for game day fresh with a clear mind and en­er­gized emo­tion­ally. That’s the key now, can we stay en­er­gized, not just phys­i­cally but emo­tion­ally. That’s been the key so far.”

POST­MEDIA NEWS PHOTO

The Se­na­tors will be livid with Belle­mare’s goal with 7:59 left in the third. With Car­rier on top of him, Craig An­der­son wasn’t able to get up to make the save.

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