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Sens Start Off Well But Break Down in 4-2 Loss to Islanders

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Injuries, fights, bad goaltending and an overall frustrating game

NHL: New York Islanders at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a very entertaining win against the Detroit Red Wings, the Sens were looking to take on the red hot New York Islanders with the same level of success. The first period started really well for the Sens who came out flying and manufactured some very good chances against the Isles in the first half of the period. A power play seems to have ignited the Sens because while they weren't successful on the actual power play, Tyler Ennis scored his first of the season seconds after the man advantage ended. The Senators continued to generate good chances but the Islanders were a shot blocking machine, and Nick Leddy wound up tying the game a few minutes later. The period ended with an extremely reckless play by Zaitsev, who tripped Leddy right in front of the net giving the Islanders a penalty shot. Leddy scored his second of the game; it’s worth noting that he had 4 goals all of last season.

The second period seemed to have an entirely different effect on the Sens as the Islanders took over the game. Less than 5 minutes into the frame, Matt Martin made it 3-1 for the Islanders, followed shortly by the 4-1 goal scored by former Senator Derick Brassard. The Sens were not able to recover from the early misfortunes, even with a goalie change. Craig Anderson seemed to have calmed the team but a 5 on 3 power play wasn't enough to bringing the Sens closer.

The third period showed a frustrated Sens team with Brady Tkachuk and Casey Cizikas going on for a fight. Tyler Ennis seemed to have had some extra motivation in tonight’s game as he scored his second of the game on the power play. The rest of the period was a series of missed chances for the Sens and they could not make up the ground from the disastrous second period. With a minute left, a scrum ensued as a result of a bump to Thomas Greiss which resulted in some 4 on 4 hockey. A few more close misses for the Sens culminated in the final score of 4-2, the Islanders’ sixth consecutive win.

Game Notes:

  • Matt Martin’s goal was initially thought to have been scored by Nick Leddy for a hat trick, which would have been the first natural hat trick by an Islanders defenseman since Denis Potvin in 1981; but to make up for it, Leddy’s penalty shot goal meant he was the first blueliner in franchise history to score on a penalty shot. Congrats Leddy!
  • Logan Brown is here to stay, he is definitely working hard to earn a spot on the team and at this point this team needs him. He was a refreshing presence on the power play, and at this point I don’t see what he would gain from being sent down back to Belleville.
  • Anders Nilsson has been playing really well this season but tonight was a terrible performance for him. Let’s hope porous goaltending is not a trend this season as the team desperately needs goalie support this season.
  • Tyler Ennis has not been impressive or noticeable this season, but he had quite the game tonight with 2 goals assisted by both Browns. Let’s hope this opens the proverbial flood gates.
  • This team can really do better than Ron Hainsey.
  • The Islanders had some tough breaks with injuries in tonight’s game, the most bizarre of which was Matt Martin getting injured via the Sens bench coming open unannounced. I wonder if the door was broken or Martin was just unlucky. It was a good thing Martin ended up back in the game because it didn’t look so good initially.
  • While Brady Tkachuk’s physical play has been often praised, I think it’s time that his discipline be addressed especially when it comes to fighting. After his third period fight, Nate made a very good point about the risks of Tkachuk getting into the habit of fighting:

First of all, I don’t think this should be an unpopular take. Tkachuk is one of the major pieces of this team’s future and risking injuries through meaningless fights makes absolutely no sense. Tkachuk is a fantastic player but his role should be clearly defined and it should not include fighting. Proving himself to be a tough guy may seem necessary, it absolutely isn't. These fights accomplish very little if anything at all, and since Tkachuk has only managed to score 2 goals this season so far, it’s probably a better idea that he focus on those skills. Stay safe, little troublemaker.

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