The Ottawa Senators who seemingly have a player a day added to the injured or absent list, managed to cobble together a lineup Monday night and take the play to the Atlanta Thrashers.
With captain Daniel Alfredsson sitting out the game with the flu, the thinning line up regrouped and went to work, taking an early lead over the Thrashers and not looking back.
Stumbling a bit in the third they gave up a couple of quick goals, but never seemed in danger of losing their 50th game of the year. The Sens were paced by Dany Heatley who scored twice reaching the 45 goal plateau and probably has erased all memories of Marian Hossa’s days in an Ottawa uniform. Ottawa just kept coming after the Thrashers, playing all facets of the game well and not surrendering much in the way of early scoring chances. Tonight’s 6-4 loss by Atlanta may very well have been the one that ends their playoff hopes for this year.
For Ottawa it was the method of team play that seems to have won the day, everyone on the ice picked up the slack for the missing stars, keeping their system simple and dominating the play. In a game that at times got rather chippy as it always seems to these days with Atlanta games, the Sens stuck to their plan, taking advantage of the stupid penalties taken by the Thrashers to pick up goal scoring chances and add to the stats package.
For Bryan Murray it was the tonic he needed from Saturday’s loss to Washington, despite numerous scoring opportunities the Sens were stopped by a hot goaltender the, that was not the situation tonight, they took charge of this one from the start and didn’t look back. Both Murray and John Muckler must be content with the effort from those called upon to pick up the slack; it should make for a good feeling heading into the playoffs in two weeks.