Tonight’s game against the Flyers was a wildly entertaining one, if nothing else. The rookies took over and the goaltending was shaky and neither team knew how to defend, and online the mascots started acting out the erotic fanfic I co-wrote about them a few weeks ago with surprising accuracy, and it was just a fun time.
I must say, I’m excited for the Sens to finally go to Philadelphia and meet the only truly noteworthy member of the Flyers’ organization. Gritty may cheer for a rival team, but he’s by far the most interesting personality in the entire NHL.
This took a weird turn. Let’s talk about the game.
The game was fun!
The Flyers got the puck off the opening faceoff, but Zack Smith soon carried it into the Philadelphia zone, setting up a good chance for Ryan Dzingel. Unfortunately, Mikael Boedker took a high sticking penalty on the same sequence, and the Flyers’ power play went to work for the first of what would end up being many times.
It’s a good power play.
Anderson was forced to make a series of excellent saves, waking up the surprisingly energetic crowd early on in the game. The Sens managed to ice the puck a few times but beyond that looked pretty overwhelmed.
After killing off the penalty, the Sens got a few decent looks at the net, including an absolutely beautiful pass from Matt Duchene to Brady Tkachuk in the crease. You’re going to read that second name many times tonight, and I guess I’m finally going to learn how to spell it.
The Sens kept the momentum going with an early powerplay, quarterbacked by Thomas Chabot. While they did not manage to score with the man advantage, they kept possession and moved the puck a lot and generally looked very good.
They continued to look very good (minus a few minor hiccups) until their second powerplay of the night, which ended with Tkachuk making a beautiful play behind the net, passing the puck to the defenseman, and sort of kicking in Maxime Lajoie’s shot for his first NHL goal.
It wasn’t entirely clear at first whether or not Tkachuk had been the one to tip the puck in, so we got a cute moment after the goal was announced where Matt Duchene shoved the puck down the kid’s pants.
Hey, it wasn’t the prettiest goal ever, and there was kind of a kicking motion there, but it was his first.
It’s also worth pointing out that, in an incredible feat that I never would have thought was possible, the Sens are now 2-0 in First NHL Goals. #OttawaRising, indeed.
The Flyers evened the score on their own powerplay a few minutes later. Considering how the Sens’ penalty kill looked leading up to the goal, it felt like only a matter of time before the Flyers scored.
Even after the goal was scored and the powerplay ended, the Sens got absolutely shelled in their own zone for a little while before they managed to regain possession and even out the play. They ended the period on a positive note, with a late powerplay and a few good chances.
The second frame started out well, with Dzingel and Stone working together to create a chances, and Brady Tkachuk almost netting his second of the night by tipping in a Cody Ceci shot that went just wide.
Then I left to get more tea (I have a cold ok), and when I came back Tkachuk was celebrating his second goal of the night, and his second NHL goal.
Based on the replays I watched, this goal was actually a relatively nice one, scored on an actual shot, and was definitely legal, even though the goalie kind of should have had it. Most importantly, it was exciting, and it was nice to see the excitement on the guy’s face.
The Flyers soon answered with their own slightly fluky goal to even the score once again. Anderson didn’t do a very good job of controlling a rebound, and a Philadelphia player’s backhand snuck through his five-hole.
The play was pretty even for awhile after that, with more big hits happening than scoring chances. Eventually, Voracek put the Flyers ahead 3-2 with his second of the night.
After a little bit of back and forth, Ottawa got yet another powerplay, and Maxime Lajoie evened the score.
Anderson made a huge save off a Simmonds shot that was noteworthy because he hadn’t made many saves recently and it was nice to see that he still knew how to do his job. Formenton got a beautiful scoring chance soon afterward, and for some reason the play ended in a huge pileup in front of the Philadelphia net.
After that was sorted out, the Sens got another nice chance in the offensive zone, and Dzingel somehow got a penalty in the process, by being pushed into the goalie, who was already pretty far out of his net.
It was 4 on 4 for a little while after that, and the Flyers scored an absolutely beautiful goal to take the lead once again.
The third period started with a fight between Brady Tkachuk and Scott Laughton. Since Tkachuk had assisted on the Lajoie goal, that completed the Gordie Howe hat trick!
The Flyers soon doubled their lead, capitalizing on some shaky goaltending and awful defending to create a huge scramble in front of the net.
No goals were scored for the next little while, though Duchene did hit the post in a positively Hoffman-esque play. The Sens were fun to watch but very clearly bad defensively, and I don’t know much about the Flyers but I don’t think they’re very good either.
A few more players got sent to the box, and the Flyers’ power play walked all over the Sens. With just under 8 minutes left, Giroux put Philadelphia up 6-3, and that was the final nail in the coffin.
Lajoie scored his second of the night on the powerplay with less than three minutes left, but it wasn’t enough. The Flyers got one more goal on an empty net (after failing to score on said empty net for quite awhile, thanks to Chris Wideman’s heroics, in a very amusing sequence), and that was it.
- Do I even need to mention Brady Tkachuk? The guy was on fire.
- Maxime Lajoie had a good night too.
- Anderson was wildly inconsistent, and he did make some big saves, but man did he look bad on a few of those Philadelphia goals.
- Boedker was surprisingly noticeable, especially in the first period.
- Philly’s top line of Voracek, Giroux and Gostisbehere was definitely the biggest Sens Killer of the night.