We all knew it wouldn't be this easy, didn't we? After going 2-0-0 in their first two games, the Ottawa Senators landed in Detroit to take on the 0-2-0 Red Wings. Despite pre-game predictions tipping heavily in the Sens' favour (based on two games for each team), they would learn very quickly that things aren't so easy.
Early on in the first period, Mike Green took a hooking penalty, giving Ottawa a chance at their first power-play goal of the season. Despite this opportunity, they would have no such luck. Other than a great defensive play from Erik Karlsson to save a short-handed breakaway by Darren Helm, there wasn't much else to write home about on the first power play of the game.
Shortly after the half-way point of the period, Mike Green scored his first goal of the night on a shot from the hash marks that just trickled off Andrew Hammond's glove and into the net. Thomas Vanek picked up the assist on the play, and Detroit was far from finished there.
Under three minutes later, Henrik Zetterburg sent a lead pass into the neutral zone, springing Darren Helm on the breakaway. Helm would make no mistake, beating Hammond through the five-hole. After some miscommunication between Dion Phaneuf and Cody Ceci on defensive coverage, Zetterburg found and open lane to an even-more-open Helm. Just like that, it was 2-0 Detroit.
With under five minutes to go in the period, Zack Smith took a hooking penalty on Darren Helm (because of course). Unlike the Sens in the first 2 games of the season, Mike Green took advantage of the power play, sending a point shot through both traffic and Hammond, into the back of the net. Detroit would take a penalty before the period ended, giving the Sens a shred of hope heading into the first intermission, but the first period would end with Detroit up 3-0.
That shred of hope quickly ran out in the first few minutes of the second period, as the Sens once again found themselves without a goal after a power play. It wasn't long before the tables would turn, when Dion Phaneuf took a roughing penalty, giving Detroit a man advantage. After Tomas Tatar missed a wide open net to the side of Andrew Hammond, Jean-Gabriel Pageau had Ottawa's first short-handed chance of the game. Pageau chased the puck into Detroit's zone, slipped passed the defence, and almost beat Petr Mrazek.
Fans hoping for a short-handed goal didn't have to wait too much longer. After Mike Hoffman went to the box for hooking at the half-way mark of the period, Ryan Dzingel fed Kyle Turris in a beautiful 2-on-1 play. Dzingel showed tremendous patience waiting for the defenceman to make a move, and then slid the puck over to Turris.
Turris was initially credited with the goal, but that would later change to Dzingel. You be the judge:
One of these guys scored. Gamesheet still says Turris. Thoughts? pic.twitter.com/csZJXkmRXn— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) October 18, 2016
It only took a few more scrambles in front of the net to kill the penalty. Then, in a scary moment for the Sens, Mark Stone crashed into the net off a bump from Luke Glendening. Stone was slow to get up, and needed to be helped off the ice and into the dressing room. But much to the relief of fans, he returned to the game a few minutes later.
Ottawa would end the second period the same way they did the first, on the power play. This came after Mike Green took a very questionable interference call. I think we could have all guessed how that was going to end (hint: without a power-play goal).
Things didn't get much better from there for the Sens, starting with a few line scrambles in the third period. The first came when Mark Borowiecki hit Frans Nielsen into the boards in the neutral zone. Riley Sheahan wasn't too much of a fan, and made sure to let Borowiecki know right away. This resulted in a dust-up between the lines, and penalties for both Borowiecki and Sheahan.
It wouldn't take long before Chris Neil wanted his turn, making a late move on Mrazek, and dropping the gloves with Justin Abdelkader. Both would (of course) head to the box.
In case you haven't seen enough hat tricks from opponents this season (you know, three games in), Mike Green scored his third goal of the game with just under seven minutes left. Another point shot found its way through traffic and right past Hammond. It looked like the game would end with a 4-1 win for Detroit.
But wait... there's more! After Marc Methot took a cross-checking penalty with just three minutes remaining in the game, Darren Helm scored to make it 5-1 Detroit. And in their last home opener at the Joe Louis arena, the Red Wings kicked off the Joe's final season with a bang.
Sens Killer: Mike Green
This one is pretty obvious. Mike Green was the biggest Sens killer tonight. The Detroit defenceman scored three goals, and had a few penalties for good measure. He was one of Detroit's best players, and made things very difficult for the Sens.
Honourable Mention: Erik Karlsson
He may have only had one assist in a losing effort by his team, but Erik Karlsson had a decent game. Karlsson played stop gap in the neutral zone throughout the game, breaking up plays and intercepting passes before Detroit was able to get into the offensive zone. It may have been a minor move, but it made a big difference at times.
Honourable Mention: Shots
Call it the participation award of the game, but the Sens weren't terrible in shots allowed. In fact, they managed to get 30 shots on Detroit, while only allowing 25 on the night. A small step, but at least it's a step in the right direction.
Sens Zero: Andrew Hammond
The Sens may have only allowed 25 shots, but five of those went into the net. That resulted in a .800 SV% for Hammond, which just isn't good enough. It's early in the season, so this could have just been an off night for Hammond, but he will have to be better this year if he wants to be a serviceable back-up goalie.