The Ottawa Senators‘ acquisition of Alexandre Burrows paid immediate dividends, as he scored both goals against the Colorado Avalanche. It was enough to win the game as the Senators were unable to convert their long time of possession into as many high scoring chances as they would have liked.
The Avalanche were unable to generate much, as the Senators kept the puck away from them for most of the game. Whenever they did get the puck, the Senators were able to neutralize the puck carriers very quickly. The Avalanche were rarely a threat as they continue to wait for the season’s end.
Despite having a good shift in the offensive zone, the Avalanche got the first penalty of the game. Mikko Rantanen received a tripping penalty on Mark Stone as the latter carried the puck out of the zone. Although the power play did not convert, it spent all of its time on the offence. Mike Hoffman got two good one-time shots on but Calvin Pickard stopped them effectively.
Burrows gave the Senators a reason to be happy about his acquisition, as he opened the scoring. He found some open space on the left side of the left faceoff circle and released a shot past Pickard.
There was great pace to the period, as both teams had their legs under them and distributed the puck well. There were no grade-A scoring chances to speak of, but both teams were able to find decent spots on the ice to get their shots off. The shots on goal ended 13-10 in favour of Ottawa after one period of play.
The Senators came into the second period in full force. They did not give the Avalanche much of an opportunity to play their game, as the Senators were usually first to the puck. Despite their superior puck possession and the number of shots they had on goal, they lacked secondary opportunities in tight. The Avalanche were unable to get a shot on goal for over 10 minutes while the Senators got over 10 shots in a row.
Bad puck management led to another goal. The Avalanche had full control behind the goal line, but a lack of attention allowed Hoffman to steal it easily. He passed it to Burrows who was in between the dots, and Burrows picked his spot as he shot it down on one knee past Pickard.
The Avalanche got their best scoring instances early in the third. First, John Mitchell delivered a good backhand as he muscled towards the net. Then Carl Soderberg delivered a strong one-timer between the faceoff dots that Craig Anderson was in good position to save.
Erik Karlsson showed off his skating ability and his hands as he gradually gained speed into the neutral zone. He slipped the puck between J.T. Compher’s legs but was unable to slip it past Pickard.
Rene Bourque brought the Avalanche closer to 2-1. He caught a floating puck in the slot, dropped it and swung his stick, knocking it past Anderson.
The Senators continued to beat the Avalanche in puck possession in the third. Karlsson had a few more moments where he dazzled, created space and got the puck on net for the forwards to get rebounds. Although the Avalanche began to pick it up closer to the end of the game, the Ottawa defence and goaltending stood tall, and the Senators took the game away in a close one.
OTT – Alexandre Burrows (10) assisted by Mike Hoffman (23) and Cody Ceci (9)
OTT – Alexandre Burrows (11) assisted by Mike Hoffman (24)
COL – Rene Bourque (10) assisted by Nathan MacKinnon (30) and Tyson Barrie (22)
THW Three Stars
First: Alexandre Burrows (2 goals)
Second: Calvin Pickard (40 saves, .952 save percentage)
Third: Mike Hoffman (2 assists)
Ottawa Senators vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Canadian Tire Centre – 7 p.m. EST – Saturday, March 4
Broadcast channels: City & FS-Ohio
Colorado Avalanche at Winnipeg Jets
MTS Centre – 5 p.m. MST – Saturday, March 4
Broadcast channels: SN & Alt2