The Ottawa Senators haven’t lost six regulation games in a row since 1996. Yet, even with Erik Karlsson, Thomas Chabot, Mike Hoffman, Derick Brassard and Ryan Dzingel in the lineup, the Sens somehow managed to lose their sixth regulation game in a row, falling 2-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes.
To be honest, the Sens didn’t play all that awful. The offence had trouble finishing, although that wasn’t for a lack of quality chances. The defence still has a long ways to go, although my amount of facepalms from painful positioning were less than usual.
Although both goalies were rested from the All-Star break, I was still expecting a decently high-scoring game. Both Ottawa and Carolina combined have a save percentage of .895, yet both Craig Anderson and Cam Ward ended up being stars of the game.
The goalies were the main display of the first period, shutting things down as Ottawa led the frame in shots 10-8. No goals were scored, but Colin White in particular had a couple of good chances on his (and Chabot’s) birthday.
The game played out like this for a while — Ottawa would turnover the puck and give up a scoring chance, then rush back down the other way for a quick opportunity of their own. The first goal didn’t come until late in the second period with just over a minute left, when a wrist shot from Jean-Gabriel Pageau beat Ward glove-side. For a struggling player who had only one point in his last eleven games, getting one in the net must’ve felt especially nice for Pageau. The Sens had a lead going into the final frame, up 1-0.
The Hurricanes came out of the post-intermission gates pressing to tie the game, and they were rewarded with a goal from Sebastian Aho. Given a bit too much space upon the zone entry, Aho, who was returning from multiple injuries, used the extra time to fire a slapshot past Anderson. The puck took an unfortunate tip off of Chabot’s stick and through Andy’s five-hole, leaving the game tied with lots of time left.
Carolina seemed rejuvenated, as it was all them from there on out. Ottawa’s defenders tried to keep up, but pucks kept getting through while being unable to recover.
Craig Anderson was keeping Ottawa in it, until he didn’t. With Zack Smith in the box for tripping, the Hurricanes didn’t even need to set up in the zone to take the lead. Victor Rask beat Erik Karlsson to the outside, and a stunned Anderson couldn’t close the short side in time on Rask’s shot. Maybe I sound like a broken record at this point, but Anderson should’ve stopped that.
With time winding down, the focus of attention turned to Dion Phaneuf. He saved the team from going down by two by sweeping the puck off the goal line, although minutes later he took a questionable holding penalty which essentially sealed the loss. The Sens poured on all the pressure they could in the final minute, although Ward wouldn’t let one by as the Hurricanes won 2-1.
And to add salt to the wound, Buffalo also lost their game to New Jersey. A win would’ve put the Sens in a tie for second last, further improving their chances at Rasmus Dahlin. Keep your eyes on the prize.
- Colin White’s first NHL goal will arrive soon. He had a couple good looks at the net but with no luck.
- Although the game-winning goal can ultimately be placed on Craig Anderson, he kept Ottawa in the game for a while, turning away 37 of 39 shots.
- Magnus Paajarvi’s first game in a Sens uniform was pretty forgettable, with three hits and two blocks.
- All six of Ottawa’s defencemen played at least 16 minutes. The days of a buried third pairing look to be coming to a close.
- On the other side, Jeff Skinner was a force to be reckoned with all night. His six shots was the most on either team.
The Sens return home to face the Ducks on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.