No matter who you are playing against you never want to spot a team a quick 3-0 lead, and the Senators did just that Thursday night against the Dallas Stars. Chalk it up to rust, or whatever, but the Senators didn’t come out of the gate strong and by the time they woke up, they were in a deep hole.
I almost said a hole too deep to get out of, but give them credit, the Sens did claw their way back and eventually tied it up. They scored twice in the last 4 minutes of the first and then after a middle frame where they held on for dear life and Robin Lehner was good, former Star Alex Chiasson tied it up early in the third. Remember the good old days when Chiasson was leading the team in goals? Well it was some time ago, and that was his first goal in 17 games and just his second in 26 contests.
Just about everything Mike Hoffman has touched this season has turned to gold (and increased the value of his next contract), but out of nowhere a toe-pick caused him to stumble and turn the puck over to John Klingberg who put a really nice shot over the shoulder of Lehner for the winner.
A couple of long-bomb short-handed empty netters later, mostly due to lack of ability to win a faceoff at key times, and the 6-3 final looks much worse than the actual game.
It was a couple of former Senators, (and Jason Spezza wasn’t one of them) who put up points, as Patrick Eaves assisted on the game’s opening goal and Ales Hemsky scored the goal to put Dallas up 3-0.
It was a warm reception for Spezza, who got a standing O during a first period video salute, and probably should have scored a goal if not for Lehner’s outstretched leg, stopping what Spezza likely thought was a tap-in.
From a development standpoint, the comeback from 0-3 was pretty impressive and they showed that they weren’t going to quit, but the fact that they were in a 3-0 hole in the first place. Granted it was their first game in 8 days and Lehner’s first action in 16 days, so you might give some credence to a rust factor.
However, for a guy who wants to be a #1 NHL goalie, letting in 9 of 67 shots in two losses to the Dallas Stars isn’t going to usher Craig Anderson out of town just yet.