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Ottawa Senators Survive Late Push, Win 4-2 Over Buffalo Sabres

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Is giving up 48 shots good?

Ottawa Senators v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

March 13th, 2018.

That is the date of the last time I published a recap of an Ottawa Senators win.

Ten.

That is the number of wins I have recapped since joining the Silver Seven writing team in January 2017.

I have written so many recaps.

So many of them were losses.

Most of them, in fact, were blowouts.

It’s emotionally draining, okay?

I was so sure I would have to do it again tonight, but it is with joy, pride, and a fair amount of annoyance in my heart that I finally, after so many months of waiting, have the incredible honour of describing to you an Ottawa Senators win.

I think I’ve forgotten how to do that.

As is tradition, the game began with the opposing team gaining possession and getting a few good scoring chances while the Sens dumped the puck in a few times. The Sens’ first good chance of the game, a nice wraparound by Colin White, resulted in their first powerplay.

The commentators immediately pointed out that Ottawa doesn’t have the best record against Buffalo on the power play, which I found funny because the Sens didn’t have the best record against anyone on the power play last year. Somehow, I doubt that’s something that’s exclusive to the Sabres.

While they didn’t score on the first one, the Sens got another chance with the man advantage soon afterward, and Ryan Dzingel put the home team ahead. During the TV timeout, the Sens honoured Jason Pominville for playing his 1,000th NHL game, which meant we got to see some absolutely lovely clips of him scoring significant goals against the Sens, though the broadcast did remind us that the Sabres haven’t even won a playoff series since 2007, which really puts things into perspective. In this moment, things couldn’t be worse, but overall, it’s possible this franchise could be worse. We could be the Buffalo Sabres.

Play was fairly even for the rest of the period, though a late Sabres powerplay tilted the ice a bit. The last five minutes were extremely fast-paced and exciting, as Sens games have tended to be lately, but the score remained 1-0.

The Sens began the second period with a few good shots on goal, and it didn’t take long for Dylan Demelo doubled the Sens’ lead with a weird bounce off the boards. A strange goal, but I’ll take it. The Sabres responded with a few dangerous chances, but didn’t manage to put the puck behind Anderson.

I’ll forgive you if you didn’t trust the Sens to hold on to a 2-0 lead at this point.

The Sens got a powerplay about four minutes in, but nothing came of it aside from a few heart-stopping moments and some much needed momentum. A Sabres powerplay toward the middle of the frame was equally unsuccessful.

With only five minutes left in the game, Mark Stone set up Colin White for an absolutely beautiful power play goal, and the Sens were up 3-0. I still wouldn’t blame you for being skeptical, though. Another late powerplay failed to yield results, and the Sens went into the third up 3-0.

In the least surprising event of the game, Jason Pominville scored Buffalo’s first goal of the game less than a minute into the third period.

Aaaaaand here we go.

The Sabres soon got a powerplay, and, sure enough, doubled their goal total.

Why? Why? WHY CAN’T I JUST RECAP ONE WIN FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE?

I’m not even sure I care, because I don’t really care how the Sens do this year, but like, are you kidding me? Why does this team hate me so much?

Those two goals gave the Sabres a lot of momentum, and they dominated possession for the next few minutes. The Sens got one sequence of offensive pressure, but Buffalo soon regained possession, of course.

On the bright side, one thing that has happened since the last time I recapped a win is that I can now legally drink during games, and in case you couldn’t tell, I took advantage of that privilege tonight. 10/10 would recommend.

For the rest of the game, the Sens attempted the bold and innovative strategy of staying in their own zone and desperately hoping the Sabres would fail to score. I know I’ve never #PlayedTheGame, but somehow that doesn’t strike me as a particularly good strategy for success. The Sabres got a completely ridiculous amount of shots on net, bringing their total to 48. Anderson has officially faced over 100 shots in his last two starts.

I’m so sorry, Craig.

The Sabres, of course, pulled their goaltender in the last minute, and Chabot came very close to scoring. Ryan eventually made the score 4-2 with 20 seconds left.

And, by some incredible miracle, the Sens won the game. There may be tears in my eyes. I’ve finally done it, you guys. The curse is broken. I’ve waited so long for this moment.

Notable Performances

  • Bobby Ryan was actually surprisingly noticeable tonight, by his standards
  • Nick Paul had a pretty good game
  • I am a big fan of Ryan Dzingel’s, as always
  • All hail Craig Anderson, our only hope of not giving Colorado a lottery pick
  • I’ll bet you can’t guess what I thought of Cody Ceci’s game tonight

Gameflow

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