Senators lose in shootout
BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency
|Devils forward Patrik Elias (left) and defenceman Mark Fayne try to steal the puck from Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Dec. 8, 2011. (RAY STUBBLEBINE/Reuters)
NEWARK - The Cardiac Kids were up to their old tricks Thursday night.
A crazy third period at the Prudential Center saw the Senators blow a 3-0 lead, tie the game with five seconds left on a Jesse Winchester short-handed effort, then lose 5-4 to the New Jersey Devils in a shootout.
In the shootout, David Rundblad wasn’t able to beat backup Johan Hedberg after Adam Henrique scored on the Devils’ fourth attempt, with three of the shots beating Senators goalie Alex Auld.
The Senators had to be happy they were able to escape with a single point after being embarrassed. It was certainly painful for Zenon Konopka, who was bloodied in a third-period slugfest with Mark Fraser.
“It’s not a nice feeling here now,” said Winchester. “We were in control of the game and we were playing pretty well. We had the upper hand early, but they (scored) too much in the third. We were able to push it to overtime, but we’re left feeling pretty empty right now.”
Winchester went to the net and beat Hedberg to tie it at 19:55. That ruined what had been a brilliant period for the Devils. Ilya Kovalchuk, Mattias Tedenby and Dainius Zubrus — short-handed — gave New Jersey a 4-3 lead. Zach Parise also scored for the Devils, who had two short-handed goals. Daniel Alfredsson, Nick Foligno and Milan Michalek, with his league-leading 18th, also scored for Ottawa.
Auld was upset he wasn’t able to make one last stop.
“It’s been a signature of our team — to never quit,” said Auld, who hasn’t won since March 20. “We always seem to get a chance in the last bit, even if we haven’t scored. That’s huge. We’ve got to keep (the point) in perspective and try to build off that.
“You could feel they were really pressing and it seemed like they got a lot of life with every goal they scored. (The short-handed goals) were tough to give up. Teams get a lot of life out of those. It’s frustrating. I don’t know if I’ve gone this late (without a win). I’ve got to keep battling.”
The Senators sent Devils starter Martin Brodeur packing after the first.
“It was two games in one by the end of the night,” said Senators coach Paul MacLean. “We were full marks for the lead we did have. We played well and attacked their net, but I thought our power play let us down a lot. Those short-handed goals gave the momentum and they built off of that.”
It’s a good thing Matt Carkner is ready to return from a knee injury. The Senators will need him. Defenceman Sergei Gonchar, who was injured after getting wrapped up with Tedenby, left with an upper-body injury and didn’t return.
It was a surprise to see Hedberg come out of the tunnel to start the second period. Brodeur gave up two goals on nine shots.
“To be able to score with (five) seconds left is pretty exciting,” said Foligno. “That’s the type of team we are, so we if we don’t give up those unfortunate short-handed goals, we probably win this game."