Redemption in Toronto.
This was the site of the most humiliating loss of their short season back on October 9th, but the Senators stepped onto the ice tonight fully prepared to compete, determined to bounce back after a deflating loss to the Bruins on Saturday.
The Leafs began riding a high after that first game against Ottawa but have now joined the New Jersey Devils in the Panic Room, and the sight of Dion Phaneuf being helped off the ice and later being taken by stretcher to the hospital to check what could be a fracture to his "lower body", probably won't help Leafs Nation have a good Wednesday.
Mike Fisher and Daniel Alfredsson led the way in the early going by skating hard and making plays, with Alfie in particular making the worries about being injured look like it was just a clever ruse to throw off the Leafs. Fisher really got the Senators going by scoring a perfect penalty shot goal, freezing Jean Sebastien Giguere so solidly in his crease that he looked like Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining.
But game summaries are mostly boring, so we won't get too deep into this one, but the 3-2 victory tonight sets up the Senators for a home game against the Islanders on Thursday which they should win, or at least have a good chance to. If... if they can beat the Islanders, suddenly you could be looking at a team that has won 5 of their last 7 games, and can no longer be accused of being in a slump.
Actually, forget Thursday. The slump is over folks. The Sens have won 4 of 6 since their four day break between October 18th and 22nd, when everyone was burying them after they got off to a 1-4-1 start. If you remember that week, it was a long one for the guys.
Now they've bounced back and have a chance to make some real progress if Filip Kuba and Milan Michalek can get back into the lineup anytime soon.
Black Aces Senators Three Stars
1. Brian Elliott (stellar tonight, no bad goals)
2. Erik Karlsson (imagine the Sens panicked and sent him to Bingo?)
3. Sergei Gonchar (starting to show his stuff on the power-play)
Honourable Mentions: Daniel Alfredsson (it was basically a coin toss that kept him out of the top 3 stars after playing injured - and playing well), Jason Spezza, Mike Fisher and Matt Carkner.