The brigade defensive of the Ottawa Senators do not get bored too much of Erik Karlsson, and the absence due to injury of the veteran’s Cody Ceci on Saturday afternoon didn’t show too much either.
A brace from defender Chris Wideman and strong play in the defensive Ben Harpur in his first outing of the season helped the cast of Guy Boucher to triumph relatively easily to the Los Angeles Kings 5-1 in front of a 15-355 fans at the Centre Canadian Tire.
Thomas Chabot has won two passes to extend to five in his series of matches with at least a point, while Maxime Lajoie has continued its good work with another password, which gives him six points in five games.
Used in an alignment to seven rear which also included the rookie Christian Jaros, author of a pass, Harpur set the tone for the meeting right from the start by distributing a hard-hitting defeat to Alex Iafallo, who has been used for a good part of the match with Mark Borowiecki to counter the first trio of the Kings rotated by Anze Kopitar.
“It was the perfect time to send in the melee, we were playing against a big team that can bully you. But, from the outset, with his big failure, it has put us in trust and it has given us wings,” said the head coach Guy Boucher after the game.
The latter also gave credit to goaltender Craig Anderson, who made 36 stops, including 19 in the second third-party “when it has drawn a line in the sand”. He was bouncing off the back of 7-4 against Philadelphia where he had allocated a few bad goals.
“I think I was patient, I let the game come to me by not being too aggressive. The guys have been excellent in front of me to take care of second and third chances. We protected our net pretty well. Our young defenders have kept things simple”, analyzed Anderson, who lost his shutout on a breakaway for Trevor Lewis in the second third.
The Kings had then gained hope after seeing the local take the lead 4-0 and chase the starting goalkeeper Jack Campbell, author of a record a shutout in Montreal in his previous start on Thursday. Chris Tierney, who earned a point for a fifth consecutive game this season also, Wideman and Mark Stone as numeric advantage, the beat in the first third, and then Colin White was sent to the showers with a good shot on a descent along the right wing.
Wideman has completed its doubled in the third against Peter Budaj, on assists from Matt Duchene and Brady Tkachuk, the rookie who finished the game with a differential of plus-4 and two mentions of assistance.
Wideman returns to far then he has missed almost all of last season because of a torn muscle ischiojambier. His last goal dates back to October 14, 2017 in Edmonton.
“I didn’t count the way the season has started for me. I’m happy to have scored, but I’d like to get the puck (first goal). It has been very difficult to go back, to resume good habits. I didn’t think it would be that hard… I’m just glad to have contributed a little, while Chabot and Lajoie are on fire,” said Wideman, who played just 8:05 minutes and that had a differential of minus-5 before the match.
Dylan DeMelo also has obtained a pass in order to give a harvest of two goals and five assists for the brigade’s defensive.
Relegated to the bleachers during the first four games of the season, Harpur has enjoyed being in the alignment of the start, against Kopitar and company. “I like facing guys like that, I think it is the same thing for ‘Boro’ (Borowiecki). It is a big responsibility to face the first trio of opponents, and you play probably better. I was hoping to make a big play early in the game, a big failure, I was happy to have the chance to do it right from the start (against Iafallo), it put me in the game,” he commented, wearing the helmet of Hydro Ottawa player the over working of the match award by his teammates after having been the defender of the most used of his disciples (22:37 minutes).
The Senators (2-2-1) will continue to stay at home to five matches in receiving Marc Méthot and the Dallas Stars on Monday night.