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Drake Batherson Scores First NHL Goal, Ottawa Senators Defeat Detroit Red Wings 2-1

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It’s #BathTime!

Ottawa Senators v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

With players healing, and some changes to the roster, the Ottawa Senators’ roster was starting to regain some strength. Zack Smith returned for his first game since suffering his facial injury, and Drake Batherson played his first NHL game, getting a chance on the top line with Matt Duchene and Mikkel Boedker.

The latter player was the story of the evening, as Batherson scored his first NHL, which also ended up being the game-winner. The Sens managed to hold onto their one-goal lead to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 2-1.

The Senators nearly got on the board first, with Dylan DeMelo scoring off a pass from Matt Duchene. Prior to the pass, however, Batherson was involved in a flurry in front, and a bump from a Red Wings player had him unintentionally interfere with Jimmy Howard. Even though Howard had a couple seconds to recover, boos roared from the crowd as the referees determined it was goalie interference.

Welcome to the NHL, Drake Batherson. This is going to happen a lot.

The first actual goal of the game didn’t come until a minute before first intermission. Mark Stone was (as always) in the right place at the right time to steal the puck from the Red Wings in the neutral zone. He passed it to Duchene, Duchene took the head-on shot, and the rebound popped out right to Cody Ceci, who had the open net to finish the play. His third goal of the season put Ottawa up 1-0.

The second period didn’t begin quite as hoped, as it didn’t take the Red Wings long to even the score. Mike Green’s shot from the point went right on net, and although Anderson thought he had it handled underneath him, it sneaked through his five-hole and into the back of the net. There may have been a tip on the play from Michael Rasmussen, although it wasn’t credited.

With 5:47 gone in the first period, the Red Wings found themselves shorthanded, with Dylan Larkin off for slashing. In general, the game saw both teams frequently stepping out of line, with seven total minor penalties called. The Sens’ movement has been much better than last season, and I don’t think it’s been appreciated enough how big of a part Chabot has played in that. His poise and patience on the blue line makes him look like an NHL veteran, while executing his decisions quickly.

With time winding down on the power play, Matt Duchene won the offensive zone faceoff, which went right to the stick of a set-up Drake Batherson. It was nothing but net on his wrist shot, as on his first NHL shot, in his first NHL game, with his family present, he scored his first NHL goal. Folks, it’s #BathTime.

Welcome to the NHL, Drake Batherson. This is going to happen a lot.

The third period started, and right on brand, the Senators collapsed with only a one goal lead. The Red Wings had full control over the Sens’ offensive zone, with Ottawa trying to make the safer plays only to have it result in more Detroit possession. The game flow below is very telling.

The highlights of the rest of the game were two Red Wings penalty shots. The first one was drawn by notable-speedy-guy Andreas Athanasiou, as Cody Ceci bunched him up during his breakaway. The call was contentious to the crowd, and especially Guy Boucher, although Anderson did his part and kept it out.

The second was for Michael Rasmussen, with Chris Wideman getting at his legs and tripping him when he was all alone. This one was much less contentious, although it didn’t matter as Anderson once again came up big with the save

Jimmy Howard left the net for Detroit’s sixth skater, and the Senators continued to collapse defensively. But Batherson’s goal stood as the game-winner as the Sens pulled off the 2-1 victory.

Biggest Standouts

  • Tonight was all about Batherson. He only had the one shot on goal, but that was all he needed. The majority of his time was spent next to Mikkel Boedker and Matt Duchene.
  • Andy also turned 34 of 35 shots. The crowd was chanting his name after the second penalty shot, as he gave Ottawa a chance to win.
  • Brady Tkachuk got in his first NHL fight with Justin Abdelkader, and handily won, after he took issue with an elbow to Stone’s head in the first period. Tkachuk’s only previous career fight was two seasons ago in the USHL, as collegiate hockey has very strict rules against fighting (automatic ejection + supplemental discipline).
  • Tonight was the Sens’ annual Hockey Fights Cancer game, and as always, their execution was wonderful. The pre-game ceremony with cancer survivor Julia Miller and her teammates was touching, and the specialty merchandise sold by the wives and girlfriends towards cancer research was also a great initiative. Here’s some information on how to donate.

Up Next

The Sens’ homestand continues, with the Pittsburgh Penguins coming to the capital this Saturday.