March 26, 2017

Round 1 Game 2: Ottawa sets the pace and ties the series with a big 4-0 win

Leo Lazarev is a quirky as they come, but like any good goaltender, he rarely lets a bad night rattle him two-games in a row. After allowing 5 goals on 29 shots in game 1, Lazarev turned aside all 31 shots for a solid bounce back game in Mississauga. With the help of an Ottawa 67’s scoring blitz late in the second period, he shutout the Mississauga Steelheads 4-0 in game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

The 67’s immediately dictated the pace of game with their physical play after Artur Tyanulin caught Owen Tippett with his head down in an open ice hit. This caused the Steelheads to play in the hands of their opponents and away from their game plan. There was plenty of scrums after the whistle in the first period resulting in 30 PIM being issued.

Despite the power play opportunities, neither team was able to score. It wasn’t until the final 5 minutes of the second period that either team was able to break the goaltenders’ shutout bids. Travis Barron scored his first of the playoffs from behind the net on the power play. It wasn’t long after that the 67’s would establish a good lead. Within the next 4 minutes, the 67’s would see a Sasha Chmelevski power play goal and a Tye Felhaber regular strength goal for a 3-0 lead to end the second period.

Mathieu Foget, who has been on fire as of late, rounded out the scoring with an empty net goal. The 67’s would finish the afternoon with a 4-0 win to even the series which is the most Jeff Brown and company could ask for.

Coming home with a series split means the 67’s now control home-ice advantage. Unfortunately for them, home-ice hasn’t been much of an advantage finishing 8 games under .500 at home. That’s a .397 winning percentage to be exact. Despite their regular season woes, home-ice will still give them the advantage of knowing the boards and angles and having the last change.

If the 67’s will need to continue to stay out of the box, with so many offensive talents like Spencer Watson, Michael McLeod, Nathan Bastian - it is not wise to give them an additional advantage. If they played the way they did to start game 1 and how they played throughout game 2, this could be a long and interesting series.

Game 3 is set for Tuesday night at TD Place with the puck drop at 7pm. Game 4 will follow Thursday night while Game 5 shifts back to the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.

  • Game summary here.

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