It wasn’t particularly pretty, but the Senators did just enough to beat the Edmonton Oilers, halting their losing streak at four. Many were skeptical of playing Mike Condon in both night of a back-to-back, but he was rock solid in leading the Sens to victory, despite a 38-18 (!!) shot advantage for the Oil.
The first period actually went pretty well for Ottawa, as they held a slim 10-9 shot advantage, and had a more important 2-0 goal advantage. The first came off an attempted Mark Stone pass to Derick Brassard that was instead blocked straight to Zack Smith in front, who snapped it home. The second came on the powerplay for a change, with Mike Hoffman one-timing the puck off Kris Russel’s stick and over Jonas Gustavsson.
Notably, that was Hoffman’s 11th goal of the season, tying with with Stone for second on the team (until Stone scored later in the game). In the second period, Patrick Maroon and Leon Draisaitl would hit 16 and 15 goals on the season respectively, meaning two relatively unheralded Oilers would both be leading the Sens in goals this season.
After the first, the Oilers would outshoot the Sens 29-8, so it’s not surprising that the second period started out poorly for Ottawa. The Oilers would take a 3-2 lead, thanks to two goals by Patrick Maroon (the latter giving Connor McDavid his lone point of the night), and one by Leon Draisaitl. But then a funny thing happened - the Sens scored two after those ones. First, Smith returned the favour to Stone, hitting with a cross-ice pass that he buried. Then Tom Pyatt continued his weird season by shanking a Cody Ceci pass flat on the ice and somehow into the net through a scrum. Ottawa had the lead with under two minutes left in the second, and it didn’t really make sense. But no complaints.
And the Sens would hold that lead through the third period. Somehow the Sens held on despite being outshot 17-3, and one of those Sens shots was an empty-net goal. I don’t remember any ridiculous saves for Condon, but he was always in position when a shot got through, and collected when he didn’t catch the puck exactly how he wanted to. With about a minute and a half left, the Oilers gained centre, dumped it in, and pulled the goalie. Ottawa recovered the puck, worked it out to centre, and Kyle Turris put it in the net. It sealed a victory the Sens probably didn’t deserve, but it felt good after a pair of losses to the Capitals in which the Sens definitely deserved better.
Sens Hero: Mark Stone
I think he gets a hero nod every time I recap. Probably because he is the straw that stirs the Sens’ offensive drink.
Honourable Mention: Cody Ceci
Credit where credit is due - Ceci had two assists and led the the team in 5v5 Corsi. He also had the highest time on ice by nearly four minutes, which says a lot on a team with Erik Karlsson. For my money, he looked like he actually deserved the ice time tonight.
Honourable Mention: Mike Condon
A .921 save percentage isn’t ridiculous, but it was very good in a game in which his team needed him to be very good. Deserves a lot of the credit for this game.
Oilers Zero: Jonas Gustavsson
A .765 save percentage, including a couple whiffs on not great shots. Remember when they used to call him The Monster?