The wildest non-fight filled game in the NHL on Friday had to be in Ottawa, where the Islanders rallied for a 5-4 shootout win.
New York overcame a 4-2 deficit thanks to Frans Nielsen's game-tying goal with less than two minutes to play and then won in the shootout (Nielsen also scored the winner).
Senators goalie Robin Lehner spent most of the night facing a non-stop barrage of rubber, stopping 53 shots in the loss. That's a lot of work with very little to show for it in the standings. And it's not like you can really blame the Ottawa offense since they had a pretty respectable night of their own, scoring four goals on 31 shots against Evgeni Nabokov. You do, however, have to look at their defensive performance for giving up 57 shots through regulation and overtime. Especially since it isn't the first time it's happened to the Senators this season. New York's shot total was the largest in a game this season, and it's just the fourth time that a team has topped the 50-shot mark in a game.
Three of those performances have been against the Senators.
Ottawa previously allowed 52 shots in a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 12, and then followed that up by allowing 56 shots in a 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks the very next night. It's probably not a surprise that no team in the NHL is allowing more shots per game than the 38.6 Ottawa is currently surrendering. The crazy thing is the Senators are also a pretty potent team themselves offensively and are currently sixth in the NHL in shots on goal and averaging three goals per game.
If nothing else, their games are certainly entertaining. They are probably the closest thing the current NHL has to the firewagon hockey we used to see in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The NHL's other 50-shot game this season came from the Sharks (51) in a 4-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Oct. 5.
Friday's game was just the 18th time since 1987 that a goalie stopped more than 50 shots in a regular season game and lost, with it last happening on Feb. 16 of last season when Colorado's Semyon Varlamov lost to the Edmonton Oilers after stopping 50 of the 55 shots he faced.