Hall ruins Sens' Hockey Day
Bruce Garrioch, QMI Agency
|Edmonton Oilers Taylor Hall (4) celebrates his game winning goal in overtime against the Ottawa Senators with teammates Jordan Eberle (14) Shawn Horcoff (10) and Tom Gilbert (77) after their NHL hockey game at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, February 11, 2012. (REUTERS/Patrick Doyle)
OTTAWA - So much for happy endings. The Senators’ streak ended at one.
But the Senators could still take some positives out of a 4-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Saturday afternoon’s kickoff to a Hockey Day in Canada smorgasbord of NHL games.
Taylor Hall scored just 17 seconds into overtime as the Oilers left Scotiabank Place with two points in front of 20,095.
A pre-game ceremony to honour defenceman Chris Phillips, marking his 1,000th NHL game Thursday, was one of just a handful of highlights for the Senators, who closed out the five-game homestand with one victory.
While Erik Karlsson and Daniel Alfredsson both scored for the Senators and Milan Michalek broke out of a 12-game goal-less slump, Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin made 39 stops to frustrate the Senators.
“We got a point,” said goalie Craig Anderson. “Obviously, it’s not the result we need to get, but we’ve got to build off the point and take some of the positives out of the game and try to continue to get better.
“Khabibulin played pretty well early to keep his team in it. If you can bury a team early, that’s key. Both teams were hanging around and it could have gone either way.”
Hall was allowed to pick up his own rebound on the winning goal.
Shawn Horcoff gave the Oilers a 3-2 lead 42 seconds into the third, but Karlsson tied it with a floater past a screened Khabibulin with 10:30 left in the third. It was Karlsson’s 50th point of the season.
“We played pretty well,” said Karlsson. “There’s not much we can do about it right away. We’ve just got to be patient and try to score on the few chances we do get right now.”
The Oilers certainly took advantage of the chances they were able to get. A turnover by Chris Neil allowed Ottawa native Ben Eager to tie it 2-2 at 18:52 of the second.
That goal came only 2:29 after Michalek scored his 24th of the season. You could see the look of relief on Michalek’s face. He hadn’t scored since Jan. 12 and needed one badly.
The Senators got off to a good start and blistered Khabibulin with shots. Alfredsson scored at 3:36, but it remained 1-0 until Magnus Paajarvi tied it 1-1 at 14:05 of the second.
“Overall, the (homestand) was disappointing, but the positive is in the last few games we’ve played pretty good,” said Alfredsson, who is on the verge of his 13th 20-goal campaign. “The last two we got three-out-of-four points. That’s something to build on. We can’t look back.
“The way we have to look at it is that one point is better than none.”
The Senators need more than moral victories if they’re going to make the post-season.