NEWARK, N.J. -- Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson nearly provided a highlight of the year Wednesday night at the end of a game that was devoid of great moments.
A little harder and a little to the left and Anderson would have had done it.
"It was so close," Anderson said of his shot attempt at an empty net that went wide right with 51.8 seconds remaining in Ottawa's 2-0 win against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. "You wait a whole career for a chance like that and it may never happen again, a chance to take a shot at the end. It's just unfortunate. It wasn't my day."
Anderson definitely shot to score. He said he had thoughts in his head of Patrick Roy talking about the missed opportunities he had during his career. He thought this was his moment.
Anderson caught Eric Gelinas' 80-foot slap shot in his glove, quickly dropped the puck to the ice, and from the top of his crease lifted it down toward the empty net almost 200 feet away.
As if time stood still, Anderson watched the puck go on a straight line to the net, bounce off the ice a few times, hit some snow, slow down and push to the right, away from the post. Gelinas eventually recovered and got the puck inches before it touched the goal line.
"It was going, then I saw it turn right and I'm like, 'Ahhhhh,'" Anderson said. "I had too much backspin on it. Now I'll never hear the end of it."
Anderson, still in his crease after Gelinas got the puck, nearly fell flat on his back when he threw up his arms in disbelief.
"It's one of those things where all the stars have to line up," he said. "It was kind of the perfect situation, just too bad they didn't come scrape the ice with a minute to go because it was a little snowy."
Anderson said it was the first time in his life that he even had an opportunity to try to score a goal.
"I don't know how many guys are going to dump the puck on net with an empty net, so that may be my only chance," he said. "It stinks it didn't happen, but it was fun trying."