After losing 8 in a row, most fans expected this California adventure to be a complete disaster. The Senators, however, had other plans, and with back to back wins, they’re now officially on a winning streak.
The game didn’t get off to a great start as Colin White left the game, after only playing three shifts, with an apparent upper-body injury. After taking a hit from Jake Muzzin and seeing his head bounce off the glass, everyone expected it to be a concussion. Later on, it was revealed that he would not return to the game with a shoulder injury. Anything is better than a concussion but let’s hope the shoulder injury is not severe either.
Boucher confirmed in the post game that he would be out at least two weeks. Not good.
Brady Tkachuk loves the attention. He loves making sure all his opponents despise the moment he steps on the ice. Tonight’s victim was the “due” boy Drew Doughty who felt the Brady wrath early on in the game as they got properly introduced in an early scrum. Tkachuk dragged Doughty into taking a penalty, and it was glorious.
The first period was a balanced period by both teams, the Sens were trying hard to shield the fatigue, and the Kings wanted to take advantage of any tired mistakes. Zack Smith had a terrible period as he took two penalties and none were the “good” type. Luckily for him, the Sens penalty kill was not only efficient but also dangerous. On the first penalty kill, Mark Stone reminded us why he needs to be on this team no matter how much money he demands. A gorgeous dangle move almost resulted in the goal of the year, but he was stopped by Quick to keep the game tied at 0. Not a terrible period for the Sens but they needed to be better if they wanted to win this game.
The second period came around as more fans were falling asleep. The Sens looked to have some bite to their game as the period started, but that didn’t last long. With the period not even 5 minutes in, Kyle Clifford tipped in a perfect shot from Jake Muzzin as Mark Borowiecki stood there and watched. Up until that goal, Anders Nilsson had made 50 straight saves dating back from the Ducks game. Impressive. For the next few minutes in the period, the Sens looked drained and deflated.
Did I mention the Tom Hanks sighting? TOM HANKS!
Surprisingly, the Sens regrouped and started applying some pressure on the LA Kings. Their hard work was rewarded as former Senator Nate Thompson tripped Dylan DeMelo to give the Sens their second power play. Bobby Ryan wasted no time getting himself to the net and 10 seconds in; he ties the game after burying his own rebound. It is now a 6 game point streak for Ryan and just the perfect time to be showcasing his hidden talents.
The Sens weren’t done, they were inspired. With a little over 3 mins left in the second period, with the Kings were hemmed in their own zone for what seemed like an hour, Tierney strikes with a shot that goes over Quick’s shoulder to make it 2-1. The shift that lead to the goal was probably one of the best Sens shifts I have seen in a long time. Mikkel Boedker got his 200th assist on that goal and Balcers got his first helper so an overall special goal for a couple of players.
The third period came along with more yawns and anticipation for a possible win. The Kings were applying the pressure, but Nilsson was having himself another beauty of a game. Brady Tkachuk continued his theme of the night by being in everyone’s face and getting more than a few great scoring chances.
One goal leads are never safe, especially for the Senators. With less than 2 mins into the third, and Tkachuk perfectly parked in front of the net, the Sens make it 3-1 off a blast from the point courtesy of one of the future bright spots, Christian Wolanin.
I fully expected the Sens to sit back and possibly let the Kings crawl back into the game. On the contrary, the Sens were hungry for more for the rest of that period. The Kings got more desperate as the period went on but were stopped time and again by Anders Nilsson. The Sens didn’t dazzle with their defensive plays, but they did keep it simple and looked a lot more focused than we’ve seen them in a while.
The dagger came from Tierney as he finished the game with his second of the night. A 4-1 win on the second half of back to back is just more than any fan expected.
- Anders Nilsson: for the second game in a row, he has impressed. Extremely difficult saves, timely saves and the easy saves he needed to make in order to win this game. He has been getting the job done and giving the team a ton of confidence.
- Bobby Ryan: back to back goals and a 6 game point streak while finding chemistry with Magnus Paajarvi of all people.
- Chris Tierney: played a solid game and got rewarded with two deserving goals.
- Brady Tkachuk: physical and fun game from him tonight. Would have liked to see him finish some of his chances though.
- Christian Wolanin: I dare you to scratch him now Boucher, I dare you!