The Ottawa Senators were the team with something to play for but you would have never known it by their approach to the game. This contest was just weird. Everything about it. Even down to the pregame. Matt Cooke told an Ottawa reporter that he had no balls so the guy decided to write a feature length article about it. Really strange.
Cooke was the main storyline coming into the game for the so called revenge that he would suffer after ending the season of star defenseman Erik Karlsson. It really ended up being nothing though. Cooke refused to fight Chris Neil in the early minutes of the game and the frustration of Cooke’s refusal to fight caused the Senators to take a penalty. The fact that the Pens dressed Steve MacIntyre for the first time this season didn’t exactly enhance anyone’s desire to act like a goon either.
Even though the Sens got away from their Cooke obsession early on in the game, the damage was done. The Pens took advantage of the time that Ottawa wasted by jumping on them early. Dustin Jeffrey, who was playing in his first game in three weeks, put the first goal on the board six minutes into the first period. He then added an assist to his total when he notched a helper on the second goal of the game four minutes later from Jarome Iginla. Brenden Morrow also assisted on each of the goals.
Tomas Vokoun got his second consecutive start and made 34 saves en route to his 300th career victory. The only blemish on his line was a third period goal scored by Patrick Wiercioch that temporarily made the end of the game interesting. That was until everyone’s favorite Penguin Tyler Kennedy scored his sixth goal of the season. And who do you think got the helper on the goal to ice the game for the Pens? That’s right. Matt Cooke.
Now might be a good time to get used to watching the Pens and Sens. The loss for Ottawa drops them down into the eighth spot, tied in points with the seventh place New York Rangers. If that stands, these two teams will meet for a seven game series. Both teams will look significantly different though. The rash of injured players up and down the Penguins lineup should be back as well as Karlsson for the Sens.