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Tampa Bay Lightning Defeat Ottawa Senators 4-3

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A late push wasn’t enough to get past the league’s top team.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

A common theme throughout recent Sens recaps has been fan interest. It’s hard to care about the Sens lately, and although I might be beating a dead horse at this point, it especially rang true tonight.

With trade rumours being chucked in every direction, all I wanted to do was appreciate the players. This might be the last we see of Jean-Gabriel Pageau, or Derick Brassard, or Mike Hoffman. And most importantly, this might’ve been our last time seeing Erik Karlsson in an Ottawa Senators uniform.

The game felt secondary, although you came here for a recap, so a recap you will receive. The league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning put on a clinic, defeating the Ottawa Senators 4-3.

The goaltending battle was Craig Anderson vs Louis Domingue, and although Domingue had a 77.3% Sv% in his two previous games against the Sens, he came out on top stopping 33 of 36 shots. Craig Anderson was having trouble on the evening, especially early when he missed a shot for the Lightning’s first goal. From a ways out along the blue line, Tyler Johnson wristed the puck towards the net, with no screen in front. Andy didn’t track it, and it was an early 1-0 deficit for Ottawa.

Ottawa tied it up soon after, with Ryan Dzingel picking up his 16th goal of the season. A heads-up pass from Mark Stone to the front of the net bobbled a little, although ended up on the stick of Dzingel. He’s one away from tying his career total in goals prior to this season.

Although the game was tied, it was inevitable the Lightning would get another one quickly. Tampa leads the league in goal scoring, Ottawa is second worst in goals against. It’s just the way these things work.

The Lightning have this beast called Namestnikucheramkos, and they happened to be on the ice matched against Mark Borowiecki and Cody Ceci. They put on a show, eventually getting the puck to Victor Hedman who had all the room in the world to walk in close. He scored, and the game was 2-1 heading into the second period.

And what better way to start it off with another goal from Tampa’s top line. The Sens’ fear of Russians looks to have seeped onto the ice, as Nikita Kucherov slid the puck through two Senators to a poorly covered Vladislav Namestnikov, who scored blocker-side on Anderson. And like that, the game already seemed out of hand.

Ottawa got the bigger share of shot attempts for the rest of the period, although they mostly seemed to be from around the perimeter. The next goal didn’t come until the very end of the second frame, with Brayden Point scoring with zero-’Point’-nine seconds left. Yanni Gourde fed him a pass from the corner, and Point shovelled the puck in the net to extend Tampa’s lead to three.

Mark Borowiecki scored his third goal of the season, clipping the deficit to two. There was a scramble in front of the net, and the goal was originally waved off due to Bobby Ryan interfering with Domingue. However, the goal was overturned after further review, to the surprise of many. Here’s the footage — you make the call.

Karlsson decided to start helping Tampa early by taking a puck-over-glass penalty, although nothing came of it.

With three minutes left and Ottawa on the power play, the Sens pulled the goalie to play a bit of six on four. Karlsson had the puck, which went to Stone, to Brassard, to the back of the net. The late push began, as suddenly the game seemed within reach.

Yanni Gourde hit the post on the empty net with the clock winding down, and a bit more pressure from Ottawa amounted to nothing more. Final score: Tampa Bay 4, Ottawa 3.

Biggest Standouts

  • Ryan Dzingel was all over the ice tonight. He had a big chance early, a breakaway in the second period, and played a big part in the Sens’ second goal on top of scoring the first.
  • Although Anderson can still be blamed for the first goal against, the defence wasn’t there to support him for the rest. Still made a few big stops.
  • Namestnikov, Kucherov and Stamkos showed why they’re the best line in the league. Their chemistry was surreal to watch.
  • Erik Karlsson, for being an Ottawa Senator.

Game Flow

Heat Map

Individual Expected Goals (from MoneyPuck.com)

Up Next

One final game before the February 26th trade deadline, at home against the Philadelphia Flyers. They visit on Saturday the 24th at 2:00 p.m.