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Sens lose on a third period meltdown

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Make It Stop!

NHL: Ottawa Senators at New York Rangers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Senators desperately needed to salvage something on the road to build some confidence and get out of the recent funk they’ve been in. Craig Anderson generally likes playing at MSG and most of us were hoping it would go his way tonight.

The first period overall had a mellow vibe to it where both teams were getting warmed up. Cody Ceci was continuing his offensive chances surge but pretty consistent on the mediocre defense. With a little over the halfway mark, former Senator Mika Zibanejad had the perfect pass to Marc Staal for his first of the season and it’s 1-0. Tom Pyatt’s defensive stability on the first line really showing full effect early on in the game. It wasn’t long until the shake and bake tandem of Stone and Tkachuk tied the game with Colin White doing a great job driving the net. Of course, the goal was challenged with goalie interference and with the NHL’s inconsistency, most expected the goal to not count. We were on the right side for once and we sat at a 1-1 game. The Sens scored a second goal but it was easily discounted as Lundqvist had pulled his face mask off move to stop the play.

The second period was quite entertaining and frankly it was a miracle that neither team scored at least 5 goals. Both teams had superb opportunities with Anderson being the highlight with some key desperate saves. Through 2 periods, the Rangers and Senators were tied at 22 shots a piece. The Sens looking like they had a bit of handle on their defensive game and even killed both penalties that period.

Remember that having control on defense in the second? The Sens quickly forgot that when they made the worst defensive miscommunication that made it 2-1 with less than 4 mins into the game. They proceeded to take one risky venture after the other until they were left with Harpur chasing the puck straight into the net. Obviously, Boucher challenged it and I’m not really sure why. Down 3-1, the woes continued with the Sens taking on penalties and completely lacking any real scoring chances. At least the shots weren’t nearing the 50 shots mark.

Brady Tkachuk is fun when he gets under everyone’s skin but he needs to be extremely careful with crossing the line. The refs seem to be watching him closely but at least he showed he cared. The team seemed extremely laid back for a team trying to score 2 goals to tie the game. As usual, the Sens tease us with a late goal as Mark Stone scores a beauty with Andy on the bench. If you’re a smart fan, you would know not to enjoy this goal as it was bound to only end in absolute disappointment once again. In proper Sens fashion, Zibanejad finished any hopes of a comeback with an empty netter from centre ice.

This team needs an overhaul, it needs a new coach, a new fire, something. I know bad games were to be expected but this team can be so much better than this. The inefficiency of the coaching, the frustrations of Ceci and Harpur and why IS TOM PYATT GIVEN SO MUCH OPPORTUNITY? At what point will these loses stop being so maddening?

Notable Performances:

Mark Stone: our Captain, our hero, our saving grace. One of the few players who make it bearable to finish off games every single night. With 2 goals tonight (sporting a swollen cheek), he is now leading the team with 11 points on the season. His goal celebrations alone are worth a standing ovation.

Colin White: good strong game, driving the net and almost scoring on a beauty breakaway.

Dylan DeMelo: the defense is pretty shaky so when any of them have a decent performance, it’s a bonus.

Zack Smith: he had a pretty good game defensively, specifically on the penalty kill tonight.

Fans: it will get better one day, it just has to.

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The Sens finish the road trip with another heart break in Philadelphia tomorrow night.