Last night’s matchup between the Ottawa Senators and the Calgary Flames saw two teams trending downward that sorely needed to pick up two points. The Senators had lost four in a row, while Calgary had struggled to only two wins in its first nine games.
Flames sophomore Johnny Gaudreau has been particularly snakebit finding the back of the net so far this season, which isn’t to say he hasn’t been dynamic offensively. Before last night Gaudreau had posted nine assists in nine games, but just one goal after scoring 24 as a rookie last season.
After three periods of back and forth hockey against the Sens, Gaudreau had the game, and his second goal, on the blade of his stick in overtime when Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson made one of the best saves of this young season, at the most crucial of moments.
What a save. With the puck rolling across the crease to a wide open Gaudreau, all Anderson could do was flash out the leather, which he timed to perfection to rob the skilled, undersized winger. The save would propel the game to a shootout, where Anderson stoned Gaudreau yet again before stopping Sean Monahan to preserve the victory.
The Senators first win on home ice this season ended their losing streak and helped them jump over the Boston Bruins in the standings with a 4-3-2 record. Anderson also picked up his first win in his last four starts.
As for the Flames, even the return of defenseman T.J. Brodie couldn’t snap the team out of its funk. The single point helped them move past the Anaheim Ducks and out of the Western Conference basement, yet just two wins in 10 games to start the season has many fans in Calgary wringing their hands after a surprise playoff appearance last season.
Here’s the save one more time, with a little fun added from Ottawa’s official Twitter account:
THAT ANDY SAVE. pic.twitter.com/JuqPlQ2Chy
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) October 29, 2015