OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Detroit coach Jeff Blashill was quick to credit Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson.
Anderson stopped two third-period penalty shots and Drake Batherson scored in his NHL debut to help the Senators beat the Red Wings 2-1 on Thursday night.
“Those are real players taking the penalty shots, so good for Craig Anderson,” Blashill said. “He’s been a good goalie in the league for a long time. He made two critical plays at critical moments.”
Anderson stopped 34 shots in his NHL-leading 17th appearance of the season, allowing only Michael Rasmussen’s goal.
Detroit had a chance to tie it midway through the third when Andreas Athanasiou was awarded a penalty shot after Cody Ceci held him on a breakaway. Anderson read the play well and made a pad save.
Seven minutes later, Anderson came up big on another penalty shot after Rasmussen was pulled down by Chris Wideman. Anderson denied Rasmussen’s attempt to go through the leg pads.
“You’d have to go back in the record books to see how many times that’s happened,” Anderson said. “It’s one of those things. Stay focused, a call’s a call and just get focused on that breakaway.”
Ceci also scored for the Senators.
Jimmy Howard made 34 saves for Detroit. The Red Wings had won four in a row.
“The whole game in my opinion comes down to power play,” Blashill said. “Our power play, when we had a chance to do something in the second period, we were no good on it and that’s unacceptable and to me that’s the whole difference.”
Detroit tied it at 1 at 3:55 of the second when Mike Green fired a shot from the blue line that Rasmussen tipped in front. Ottawa regained the lead at 7:05 of the period on a power play goal when Batherson jumped on a loose puck off the faceoff and beat Howard.
“Coming in today and having all my family here to see my first goal in my first game was a lot of emotion,” Batherson said. “I was pretty nervous, but more excited, and for that to happen was great. The crowd’s reaction really did it for me. It was pretty loud after that. It’s a day I’ll never forget.”
Notes: Zack Smith returned to Ottawa’s lineup after missing nine games with facial fractures. Ottawa’s Christian Jaros and Max McCormick and Detroit’s Luke Witkowski were healthy scratches.
Red Wings: At New Jersey on Saturday
Senators: Host Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
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