After giving people a glimmer of hope with two straight wins on the weekend, the Senators hit the midpoint of the season by taking a knockout punch on the chin in Game 41 in a frightful 8-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in front of 14,007 at the Canadian Tire Centre.
While it wasn't necessarily a must-win game, the Wild knew the importance, especially with only two more games before the bye week.
Ottawa has been outscored 61-34 in the second period this season. I don't think it was anything special throughout the game.
The Ottawa Senators couldn't get a save Tuesday night and, ultimately, they couldn't save themselves either. The Blackhawks led 4-0 in the second period and after the Senators trimmed it in half to 4-2, Chicago scored another four unanswered goals to easily put it away.
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After what Boudreau dubbed an "embarrassing" start by the Wild in which it was overwhelmed by the Blackhawks in the first period en route to a one-goal deficit, the team cleaned up its play the rest of the way to rally for a critical 2-1 win over its division rival at United Center.
"I don't think in any circumstance that we need more saves".
"There's a lot of things that line up to make this a big tilt", Eric Staal said before the game.
The second period was once again troubling as Anderson gave up three goals on four shots in a span of 4:39. "We made mistakes. We made mistakes in key areas and our goaltenders have been solid".
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Sharp gave Chicago a 2-0 lead at the five-minute mark with a wrist shot from the top of the circle. Brassard then made it 4-2 by driving to the net and tipping Stone's shot in off his chest.
The talented but inconsistent Duclair has nine goals and six assists in 33 games this season, scoring in each of his last two games after asking the Coyotes to trade him. Defensively, the Minnesota Wild are allowing 2.9 goals per game and are killing 82.8 percent of their opponents power plays. He added a goal for good measure in the third period, after Nick Schmaltz clanged what would have been his third goal off the post.
"We've talked about it, you guys have talked about it and we have to find a way in our room to have better second periods", said Phaneuf.
Then, earlier today, the Blackhawks called up Erik Gustafsson while deciding to healthy-scratch Brent Seabrook from tonight's game against Ottawa.
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Seabrook, one of the team's alternate captains, has been with the Blackhawks all 13 seasons of his National Hockey League career and is fifth all time in games played for the franchise.