On paper, this game had slow start written all over it for the Senators. An afternoon start combined with the fact that MacLean's group hadn't played in four days, and it looked like a game where there might be some rust to shake off.
That certainly was not the case this afternoon as the Ottawa Senators came ready to play.
Karlsson went bank from below the goal line on Kevin Poulin and only moments later, Jason Spezza beat Poulin to give the Sens a 2-0 lead before the game was two minutes old. Montoya took over between the pipes but the change didn't seem to make a different as Karlsson scored again to give the Senators a commanding 3-0 lead through twenty.
In the second period, it was more of the same for the Sens as they controlled all aspects of the game and kept the scoring chances to a minimum. Chris Phillips ripped a one time blast on the power play for his third goal of the season giving Ottawa 4-0 lead heading into the final frame.
In the third period, the onslaught continued. Brian Lee took a feed from Erik Karlsson and beat Montoya for his first goal in 99 games. Then, with the Senators on the power play, Jason Spezza blew one past Montoya to put the Sens up six. Karlsson picked up an assist on that one too, giving him four points on the afternoon.
Craig Anderson had it pretty easy over the first forty minutes but he was tested at times during the third period. Anderson picked up his third shutout of the season, turning aside 28 shots including 18 in the third period.
With the win, Ottawa closes to within two points of the division leading Boston Bruins and give themselves a six point cushion over the 9th place Winnipeg Jets. They are just two points back of 4th place and home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Sens fans can now sit back and do a little scoreboard watching as the tenth place Washington Capitals are in Carolina later tonight. The Caps trail the Senators by seven points but have three games in hand.
Ottawa's next game comes on Wednesday night when they host Ovechkin and the Capitals.
- There is a tendency for some analysts and fans to point to the defensive game of Erik Karlsson as a reason why he should not be included in the Norris Trophy discussion but he has made tremendous strides in that part of his game. Considering the gap between him and the next highest scoring d-man, how can Karlsson not be in the running? Karlsson has 57 points on the season, 17 clear of Brian Campbell.
- With an incredible nine points from the backend this afternoon, the Sens lead the league with 150 points from the blueline. They are 14 points clear of the second place Vancouver Canucks in that category.