Sens lose 12 seconds into OT
Don Brennan, QMI Agency
|Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) controls the puck next to Ottawa Senators left wing Kaspars Daugavins (23) during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Washington December 3, 2011. (REUTERS/Molly Riley)
WASHINGTON - A blown tire cost the Senators a chance at two points in DC.
The tire belonged to Erik Karlsson.
The Senators defenceman fell at the blue line, allowing an odd-man rush that resulted in Brooks Laich’s game-winning goal 12 seconds into OT in Ottawa’s 2-1 loss to the Caps at Verizon Center Saturday night.
“We battled hard, we battled back to get the point,” said Senators goalie Craig Anderson. “Karl played unbelievable tonight.He was one of our best guys out there. It’s just unfortunate he got caught in a rut and fell down. It’s a hockey play. It’s going to happen.”
“I felt it was going downhill and I tried to poke the puck away and I fell,” said Karlsson. “I just got in a bad position, Bad luck sometimes. I got caught in a bad piece of ice or something.”
Karlsson, who did a good job stopping Alex Ovechkin rushes and scored his second goal of the season, was looking forward to the 4-on-4 overtime.
“I had a lot of energy left too, it definitely sucks that it ended the way it ended.”
The Senators return home Monday to face the Lightning, then get another shot at the Caps Wednesday at Scotiabank Place.
Coach Paul MacLean liked the way his team battled back to get the point, when Milan Michalek pulled into a tie for the league lead in goals, with his 16th, with 3:15 left in regulation.
But he sounded less than impressed by the defensive system used by Caps coach Dale Hunter, who won for the first time as an NHL bench boss.
“We have to break out the ’03 tapes to figure out a way to break the trap again, to get some execution and do things properly, but we’ll break them out and get things done,” said MacLean. “I thought our team came out and had a good start to the game. Second period they got momentum off of their power play and we didn’t execute vs. their trap and gave them some more offence. But at the end of the day, we came back to get the game tied up and get a point.
“We blow a tire in overtime, stuff happens once in awhile, but, for the most part, we end the road trip with a good record.
“We’ve grown a lot as a team, now we get to go home and practice as a team, then get playing again.”
Anderson gave up an early goal that had no business finding the back of the net. Nicklaus Backstrom took a handoff from John Carlson in his own end and strolled down ice, cut into the Ottawa slot and snapped a shot that likely would have went straight to the mesh of Anderson’s trapper had he been out a little further.
For the next 43 minutes, Anderson was money. He stopped a couple of breakaways and handful of close-in chances. But a Troy Brouwer goal was another he would have prevented had he moved a little quicker across his crease.
“Andy played outstanding,” said Daniel Alfredsson, who was robbed by Michal Neuvirth just before Michalek poked home the tying goal. “We had a great first period, they have the second and kind of back and forth in the third. Its tough to lose these kind of points, especially on the road.”
Michalek’s goal was his fourth in three games and 16th on the season, tying him with Phil Kessel and Steven Stamkos for the league lead.
Senators coach Paul MacLean scratched Nikita Filatov and used Bobby Butler in his spot on the first line.