Another NHL game was played tonight by the Ottawa Senators. Did you know they’ve had 65 of them since October? I could have sworn they stopped playing around mid-November.
Apparently not though.
This season never seems to end, although with efforts like tonight, it can be more bearable. Ottawa was actually by far the better team in the first period. They ended up with 29 shot attempts to Dallas’ 12, yet in what is becoming a hilarious tradition, they were down 1-0 after the first due to one of the teams biggest problems: the penalty kill.
After scoring the game-winning goal against the Golden Knights on Friday, Alex Burrows made sure to help the tank early on instead. Thanks to that holding penalty, goal-scoring machine Tyler Seguin was able to get the most 2017-18 Senators goal against of all-time, as he banked the puck off of Ben Harpur and in.
To begin the second, Kari Lehtonen came in the game to replace Ben Bishop after he got shaken up earlier on. Luckily for Ottawa, this would help them later on.
The Stars would get a chance to double their lead after Erik Karlsson got called for unsportsmanlike conduct on the bench, but a few nice saves from Craig Anderson kept the game within one.
The Senators later got their first powerplay of their own with under five minutes to go in the period, but following two chances in front from Mike Hoffman, he would quickly cancel out the man advantage after hitting Tyler Pitlick’s stick away. After a few more incredible stops from Anderson, Karlsson got high-sticked, which gave Ottawa one more chance on the powerplay before the period ended.
The puck movement was incredible in the final minute, with a myriad of chances going just wide or getting blocked. With 1.4 seconds to go though, Mark Stone was able to find Mike Hoffman across the ice, and he buried it just in the nick of time. The Stars had the overall better chances in the second period, but with a strong finish, it was squared at one heading into the third.
6:36 into the final frame, Lehtonen would make Stars fans really wish Bishop never had to leave the game. Matt Duchene added his second point of the game as he beat Lehtonen short side on a shot that wasn’t even in the top-10 for most dangerous chances on the night. After coming out buzzing to begin the period, Ottawa had their first lead of the night.
With Anderson continuing to make fantastic stops and the Stars missing on grade A chances, it felt like Ottawa was going to hang on for the regulation win. However, with 1:08 to go and an empty net, Seguin scored his second of the night to send this game to overtime.
Overtime featured another frantic few minutes, and right before Karlsson got the game-winner for Ottawa, it looked like John Klingberg had the game on his stick at the other end of the ice. His attempt was no good though, and a Karlsson breakaway was good enough to get the extra point for the Senators.
Final score, 3-2 in overtime for Ottawa. Team tank was nowhere to be found tonight.
- Craig Anderson made some big saves that could have made this game a lot worse. He ended up with 31 saves, and a lot of those were quality scoring chances.
- Although Mike Hoffman took two dumb penalties, he scored a buzzer beater to tie the game, plus he was one of the few forwards making things happen in the offensive zone.
- I feel like I say this every game, but I feel compelled to point out how sharp Matt Duchene looks on this team. He improves the powerplay, and he’s easy on the eyes when you’re watching him with the puck. Once again, him and Hoffman have some real chemistry.
- Jean-Gabriel Pageau is playing with better linemates now that Derick Brassard is gone, and it’s noticeable. I’m still not confident in him being a top-6 forward, but we can’t ignore how bad some of his linemates were earlier this season. He’s looking more dangerous offensively of late.
- Besides a few turnovers from Fredrik Claesson and Karlsson, nobody was noticeably bad tonight. Even Karlsson ended up with the overtime winner, so you can’t blame him for very much. Overall, a solid effort from the 3rd-last place team.
In a battle of the tanks, the Senators face off against the Buffalo Sabres again on Thursday at home at 4:30.