Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Robitaille flourishes with streak breaker goals

In the end it was one of the harder working Sens on the night that proved to be the difference, as the Ottawa Senators finally brought comfort to their fans by ending the longest losing skid in over ten years.

Randy Robitaille loaded once and then again, as he propelled his Ottawa Senators on to a hard fought 5-4 regulation win over the Florida Panthers, a victory to bring their seven games of misfortune to an end. Robitaille scored the first Ottawa goal and bookended the game with the key fifth goal, as the Sens finally shook off some of the bad karma that had been following them over the last seven games.

In a way it seems appropriate that deliverance from their troubles came as they faced their old coach Jacques Martin, who found that his goal tending was more than a little suspect on Wednesday night.

Martin made like Mike Keenan during the game, pulling starting goaltender Thomas Vokoun after he let in two consecutive goals in less than a minute midway through the first period, looking very tentative on the first one, Vokoun wasn't allowed much of a chance to redeem himself when the second one was in the net before nine minutes of the game were done.

Having seen enough midway through the first, Martin inserted Craig Anderson into the game, who kept the Sens off the scoring sheet until the mid point of the second period. It was during that period of time that the Bad old Sens seemed to return to the ice. With a lethargic period of play that saw Anderson tested by but one goal, while the Panthers got back into the game with a pair of goals against Ray Emery, who while playing better, once again seemed to have lapses that will make the Sens fans a little nervous.

Emery faced 25 shots by games end, four of which found their way into the back of the net, including a last minute goal that seemed to suggest that yet another overtime battle may be on the horizon. He had however made a key penalty shot save earlier in the period, that had denied the Panthers some momentum, after which to their credit the Sens battened down the hatches and played hard to keep the win intact.

They were a welcome two points and their third in the last two games of the road trip, which now continues on into Texas and a Friday night match with the recently surging Stars.

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