For a team like the Ottawa Senators, who had expectations lower than the Mariana Trench going into the season, winning three consecutive games is a relatively big deal. Couple that with the fact that they did it with their best game of the season, and the Sens are starting to turn some heads.
They put together their first full-game effort of the year, last night, en route to a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers. Anders Nilsson was excellent, stopping 30 of 31, and was one self-inflicted mistake away from a well-deserved shutout, while the team did their part to help him out.
The Sens came flying out of the gate, opening the scoring just 57 seconds into the game, when Thomas Chabot walked in from the point, and rifled a shot short-side on Henrik Lundqvist.
Keeping their foot on the pedal, Ottawa would go on the powerplay 6:16 into the frame. With the man advantage, Logan Brown finally scored his first NHL goal, and what a beauty it was.
How’s that for your first? And on one of the all-time greats, no less! Congrats to Logan Brown on the first of many, I’m sure.
The Rangers would get one back near the end of the first. Jacob Trouba let go a shot that was heading way wide, but Nilsson accidentally tipped it behind himself to make it a one-goal game.
Just 1:11 into the second, however, Tyler Ennis scored a gorgeous marker. He danced around two Ranger defenders, avoided a check, and beat Lundqvist up high.
Lovely little play by Ennis to restore the 2-goal lead.— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) November 23, 2019
GOAL: Ennis (6)
ASSISTS: White (3), Tierney (8) pic.twitter.com/fMVIhs9zBU
Continuing the trend of (finally) powerplay success, Anthony Duclair made it 4-1 a little over halfway through the period. He skated into a nice feed from Pageau, and fired an absolute bomb that would ultimately put the Rangers away.
Absolute ROCKET from Duclair on the 5-on-3.— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) November 23, 2019
GOAL: Duclair (10) PPG
ASSISTS: Pageau (6), Chabot (12) pic.twitter.com/qcVAovJKc7
Not to be outdone, Anders Nilsson reminded everyone that it’s not all about offence, making an absurd save on Tony DeAngelo at the end of the second period.
Ottawa wouldn’t look back from there, taking this one by a final of 4-1.
- That Logan Brown goal was a long time coming. He’s been playing some seriously lights-out hockey, just unable to capitalize on his chances. Good to see him finally break through, look for the floodgates to open now.
- Maxime Lajoie, Christian Jaros, and J.C. Beaudin all drew into the lineup in place of injured main roster players. None of them did anything particularly spectacular, but they all looked solid, and far from out of place. Most of the time, that’s the best you can hope for.
- The Rangers started slow, but they really turned it up as the game wore on. It’s a testament to Anders Nilsson that they were barely able to score the one goal. He’s been phenomenal.
- Anthony Duclair is red-hot. He has 10 goals on the season now, and four in his last five games. I’m dying to see him signed to an extension. It looks, as of now, like he’s finally found his game in Ottawa, and could be a key piece going forward.
- Fairly minor thing here, but both Beaudin and Nick Paul saw time on the penalty kill tonight. Giving such important minutes to young kids was unheard of under the previous regime, so this could be a really good sign from D.J. Smith and Co.
It was all Ottawa tonight. They dominated possession throughout the game, with only a slight dip in the third, as they played a more defensive game while the Rangers went on the attack.
As always, the Senators generated most of their chances from the front of the goal. The Rangers weren’t able to establish much from anywhere.
The Sens have the weekend off, before they head to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets on Monday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pmET.