A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ottawa takes 2-0 lead, heads home

On Saturday night, the Senators stunned the Sabres by winning again in the HSBC Arena. Maybe "stunned" isn't the right word, but either way the Sens own a commanding 2-0 lead in this series. Buffalo is no longer assured anything. If the Sens play their cards right, they can wrap up the series with two wins at Scotiabank Place.

I say "stunned" isn't the right word because perhaps the Sabres weren't. They played pretty much the same way they've played all playoff season. It was good enough to beat the Islanders and it was good enough to get by the Rangers but so far it hasn't been enough to even win a home game against the Sens.

This one was a little different, though. The home team got off to a two goal lead in the first period, but it completely lost it after that. Ottawa scored three unanswered goals to take a 3-2 lead which held up until five seconds remained in regulation. The third of those Senators goals was the result of a questionable five-on-three. This would prove to be a major point of contention, along with a disallowed Sabres goal.

Throughout the game, and mostly in the third period, the Sabres looked to be skating through porridge. Too frequently, one guy would make a dazzling move to gain the zone, only to have no teammates and four Senators to deal with.

Just like that game against the Rangers, the Sabres got a miraculous closing-seconds goal to force overtime. Before it was Chris Drury. This time it was the other Captain. This time was also different in that Buffalo couldn't parlay that momentum into a win.

In the first overtime period, the Sabres had a great chance to win it. Joe Corvo was sent off for interference, but the power play was awful. During that sequence, the Senators had two quality shorthanded chances and the Sabres had zero chances of their own. This has been the recurring theme. In the second overtime period, Corvo turned out to be the hero by blasting a blueline shot past Ryan Miller, just off a faceoff in the Sabres zone.

In the post game presser, the questions for Lindy Ruff were pretty much about the power play and how they were going to make adjustments to get it going. Instead of addressing that, he pointed out the five-on-three, which led to a goal for the Senators.

For the record, although it's true that Ottawa has had two five-on-three situations in this series, Buffalo has had more overall power plays and has failed to convert. Ottawa is 4-10 in power play situations, while Buffalo is 0-12.

Jason Spezza had three assists and was named second star of the game. He now leads all scorers with 17 (6/11) post-season points.

Ducks and Wings are underway right now.

No comments:


Red And Black Hockey is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Carolina Hurricanes Hockey Club, the National Hockey League or any of its other member clubs. The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of RBH. Any comments made are the opinion of the commenter, and not necessarily that of RBH.
Whenever possible, RBH uses its own photography. Any incidental use of copyrighted material including photography, logos or other brand markings will not interfere with the owner's profits.