Milan and Zbynek Michalek scored for their respective teams, Mark scored but not Michael of the Stones, and the Ottawa Senators cruised to a 7-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. Bobby Ryan, Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Erik Karlsson and Mika Zibanejad also scored for the Senators while Sam Gagner scored for the Arizona Coyotes.
The game started in most peculiar fashion. Forty seconds in, Zbynek Michalek scored an unassisted goal from the blueline that went in off the hand of Marc Methot. Robin Lehner was slow to react because it had appeared Methot had caught the puck. 29 seconds later, however, Mike Hoffman would sneak it past Mike Smith to tie the game at one apiece.
It was the second period where Senator players got the better of their Coyote brothers. First it was Milan Michalek, scoring with a sly wrister that beat Smith high gloveside. In the waning moments of the period, Mark Stone would add another on a deflection.
As soon as the third period started, the flood gates were officially open. Bobby Ryan and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored 20 seconds apart to extend the Ottawa lead to four. It was after that onslaught that Smith (15-for-20 on the night) would get pulled, and Louis Domingue would step in, making his first career NHL appearance. He made a couple good saves, but ultimately got his "Welcome to the NHL" moment when Erik Karlsson slammed one by him. He stopped nine of eleven in just over 17 minutes of work.
It was a very scrappy game at times. BJ Crombeen and Chris Neil dropped the gloves in the first period, and a scrum developed following Pegeau's goal in the third period. Ultimately, that was difference as Ottawa took over that facet of the game and was able to set the tone despite getting outshot by a sizable margin.
Arizona was closer to Ottawa's level than the score indicates, but was still very clearly outplayed. Hopefully another seven game losing streak is not in the works, but Saturday was not a particularly inspiring effort.
3rd Star - Erik Karlsson - Goal and an assist
2nd Star - Robin Lehner - 35-for-37 with a .946 save percentage.
1st Star - Mark Stone - Also had a goal and an assist, but his goal was the eventual game-winner.
- Ottawa's Perspective: Silver Seven
- B.J. Crombeen played his second game in two nights after only playing three games in the rest of January. His stat line for January? Zero points, -1, 10 PIMs.
- Arizona was shorthanded five times in the first period, including down two men for a minute and a half. Yet their penalty kill was a perfect 5 for 5.
- Tobias Rieder had a game-high six shots in the game. None of those shots found twine though.
- It may have been a bad loss, but we did get this Don Maloney .gif as a consolation prize:(s/t @GoldAndOrSmith)
Arizona gets less than 24 hours of rest before playing the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. Game will start at 11:00 a.m. Arizona time, so there's plenty of time to squeeze some hockey in before your Super Bowl party. The game will not be televised on Fox Sports Arizona, so plan accordingly.