It began as a wild game between the Ottawa Senators and the Los Angeles Kings this afternoon at the Staples Centre, highlighted by a five-minute major penalty, two fights and several puck bounces leading to goals on both sides. Although the Senators had the ice tilted in their favour during the second period, they could not take advantage and with a clock malfunction against them, went into the third with a deficit they could not come back from.
In Chris Neil’s 1000th career game, he was able to register a fight, something that he built his NHL career off of. With both teams with their starting goaltenders absent, both Condon and Budaj continued to tell their stories this season.
Ottawa got into penalty trouble very early in the game, with defenceman Mark Borowiecki getting into trouble for five minutes as he hit Kings forward Tyler Toffoli from behind into the boards. Los Angeles made him pay, scoring two power-play goals to make it difficult for Ottawa to come back. After the second goal, the shots on net were 7-2 in favour for the Kings. However, the Senators were able to close the gap in that regard, as the period ended with the shots tied with eight apiece.
This period was highlighted by its physicality, with the aforementioned hit by Borowiecki as well as the scuffles and fisticuffs in consequence of the hitting. Borowiecki had to fight LA’s Matt Greene to answer once more to his hit on Toffoli. LA’s Jordan Nolan hit Bobby Ryan shortly thereafter, and on his 1000th game, Chris Neil went after Nolan to get him to answer for himself.
The Senators responded early, with Zack Smith scoring two minutes into the period. The goal allowed them to continue playing with the momentum with the ice tilted in their favour, as they did not allow the Kings much time on offence as the Senators successfully applied pressure on the opposition. With a near-perfect second period, the Senators let up for a split second, allowing Trevor Lewis to score with 0.5 seconds left in the period to restore Ottawa’s deficit to two.
The TSN broadcast notices that at the beginning of the second period, the clock did not start for several seconds. Even though the timekeepers adjusted the time, they did not adjust it in its entirety, therefore it could be argued that the goal should never have happened.
The shots were 17-13 in favour of the Senators after two periods with a score of 3-1.
Ottawa received two power-play chances early in the final period and the Senators almost scored to close the deficit. Mark Stone missed a wide-open net from a Mike Hoffman pass, as he returned to the bench in frustration. It would come back to haunt him, as the Kings scored on their own power-play to extend their lead to three. Ottawa was unable to regain the momentum that they had in the middle period and ultimately fell 4-1.
LAK – Jeff Carter (12) PPG assisted by Drew Doughty (10) & Peter Budaj (1)
LAK – Alec Martinez (6) PPG assisted by Tanner Pearson (5) & Kevin Gravel (2)
OTT – Zack Smith (4) assisted by Tom Pyatt (5) & Kyle Turris (8)
LAK – Trevor Lewis (5) assisted by Derek Forbort (7) & Dustin Brown (8)
LAK – Marian Gaborik (1) PPG assisted by Trevor Lewis (5)
THW Three Stars
First: Trevor Lewis (1 goal, 1 assist)
Second: Jeff Carter (1 goal, five hits)
Third: Peter Budaj (1 goal against, .950 save %)
Ottawa Senators at Anaheim Ducks
Honda Center – 4 p.m. EST on Sunday, December 11, 2016
Broadcast Channels: PRIME, TSN5
First game of season series