It wasn’t the result we wanted, but two points in two games without Karlsson in the lineup isn’t too bad.
If anything, this game proved that this team is the exact same team that came within one goal of the Stanley Cup Final last season, complete with low-scoring games, last minute comebacks and that absolutely abysmal power play.
The game began with a powerplay clinic courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings, who despite failing to score looked extremely dangerous, and might have taken an early lead if not for the heroics of Craig Anderson and Mark Stone.
Unfortunately, the Sens did not learn from the Wings’ clinic. While their first attempt on the man advantage resulted in a good chance for Kyle Turris, their next three(!) looked painfully familiar to anyone who watched the team in the playoffs last season. You’d think they would have made the powerplay their main priority during the offseason, but if they did it was not apparent. As always, their play on the man advantage was very static, as they maintained decent possession without moving around much or getting any particularly good scoring chances.
The second period was largely uneventful, with the teams trading chances and both goaltenders standing tall. Ryan Dzingel came especially close to putting the team ahead with an early breakaway, but was robbed by Howard. Near the halfway mark of the period, the fans at the CTC got the chance to witness an extremely dangerous looking powerplay… when Derick Brassard took a slashing penalty against Trevor Daley. The refs continued to call absolutely everything, giving another penalty to each team before the end of the frame. At this point, the next time I go to a Sens game I might just boo the refs for giving US a power play.
The third frame began with the announcement that Ben Harpur had left the game with an upper-body injury, and would be out for the foreseeable future. It remains to be seen who the team will call up to replace the replacement for Johnny Oduya but so far the fanbase seems pretty divided on whether or not Thomas Chabot is ready to play a few games at the NHL level.
Ottawa got an early powerplay less than three minutes into the game, but Mike Hoffman heroically neutralized it with a slash against Dylan Larkin. He pretended to be upset about it, but we all know he did it for the good of the team. Thanks Hoff.
With Anderson and Howard both standing on their heads, it was looking like it would be a one-goal game. Unfortunately for Ottawa, the Red Wings scored with just over two minutes left. The goal scorer’s name was Frk, which sounds a lot like the word I said when he scored.
However, in typical Senators fashion, Ottawa answered only a few seconds later, off an excellent individual effort from Dion Phaneuf. The goal was originally credited to Derick Brassard, who looked like he may have deflected the puck into the net, but was then given to Phaneuf.
Overtime solved nothing (and also looked very sad without Erik Karlsson), so it was off to the shootout for the second time in two games.
The Red Wings took home the extra point, as all three Ottawa shooters failed to get the puck past Howard. Shootout losses may be the most frustrating kinds of losses, because they feel like total coin tosses. This felt like a game that the Sens should have won, and it sucks to have to settle for a single point, but it’s not like we expected them to dominate with their best player on injured reserve.
Also, if you're feeling sad about this game, remember that the Habs lost 6-1 tonight. Sometimes I feel like that teams brings me more joy than the Sens do.
Ryan Dzingel had absolutely no finish in this game, but he did get some really good chances. Make of that what you will.
Kyle Turris looked good, as always.
Mike Hoffman also had a pretty good night, and hit a frustrating number of posts.
Craig Anderson was excellent, as always.
Jimmy Howard was our Sens Killer of the night, and probably the #1 reason why the Sens didn't win.
Look, I know we're not doing Zeroes anymore, but the Ottawa Powerplay was so bad in this game that I'm making an exception. Please fix it, Boucher.