For about 44 and a half minutes, the Ottawa Senators looked like they were in decent shape. In a game which had seen them lead for the majority of it, they found themselves trailing the Minnesota Wild 3-2 going into the third period.
There, the floodgates opened, and Ottawa ultimately fell 7-2 in the State of Hockey, now 11-13-1 on the season. Anders Nilsson finished 27 for 35.
The first period was marked by Minnesota missing some glorious opportunities, somehow not connecting on wide open nets with Anders Nilsson nowhere in sight.
The Senators would take advantage of this, when Nick Paul opened the scoring with a beautiful deflection of a Nikita Zaitsev shot.
Big tipper.— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) November 29, 2019
GOAL: Paul (3)
ASSISTS: Zaitsev (7), Borowiecki (8) pic.twitter.com/1mekRgivV5
Ottawa went into the second up 1-0. with Anders Nilsson standing tall to preserve the lead. However, Minnesota began to press the attack, taking a decent lead in the shots on goal totals from the frame’s beginning. They would be rewarded 9:43 into the period, with a Ryan Donato backhand shot that beat Nilsson, tying the game at 1-1.
Not to be outdone, Brady Tkachuk restored the Ottawa lead less than a minute later. He took a great feed from Connor Brown, and rifled a shot past Alex Stalock to make it 2-1 Sens.
Brady's 9th of the season.— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) November 29, 2019
GOAL: Tkachuk (9)
ASSISTS: C. Brown (13), L. Brown (5) pic.twitter.com/uwQLQExSC3
The wild (haha) second period would continue, however, as Jared Spurgeon finished off a great passing play 28 seconds after the Tkachuk marker, once again evening the score.
Zach Parise jammed one in from the side of the net less than three minutes later, and all of a sudden, Minnesota had their first lead of the game at 3-2.
Despite some good chances both ways, the visibly frustrated Senators would head into the third, down a goal. Though they started strong, it was Luke Kunin that streaked in all alone, and put the Wild up 4-2 around four minutes in.
Aaaaand this is about where things started to unravel.
Ryan Hartman, Eric Staal, and Jason Zucker all scored within a span of about five minutes, and all of a sudden, Ottawa was down 7-2.
The game was done from there, as that would be your final score for the evening.
- On a more positive note, Brady Tkachuk’s compete level never dissipates. Even in games where the Sens are getting absolutely pumped, Brady is always trying to make things happen. Great leadership.
- Anders Nilsson wasn’t great tonight. Not every goal was his fault, but there were a few that he definitely should have stopped. With Craig Anderson out, Nilly has to put up better performances than this. Marcus Hogberg starts tomorrow night.
- Logan Brown did not have his best night, and as a result, saw his icetime slashed as the game went on. He finished with a woeful 35% Corsi rating at 5on5.
- For all the criticism Ron Hainsey gets, he is a damned smart hockey player. His IQ on the ice is off the charts, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him transition seamlessly into a coaching position at the end of his career.
- Erik Brannstrom continues to put up insane possession numbers, he had a 60.71% Corsi rating in all situations. The dynamic offence will come, but for right now, Sens fans should be happy with the steady game he’s playing.
- Ottawa plays seven of their next nine on the road. nervous gulp
As always, here are our charts, courtesy of Natural Stat Trick:
The Wild held on to the puck for most of the game, despite the shots and scoring chances being fairly close.
Both teams saw most of their chances at the goalmouth, but Minnesota scored four from that range. Yikes.
It’s yet another back-to-back, with the Sens in Calgary tomorrow night to take on the Flames. It’s an earlier start, too, with puck drop scheduled for 7pmET.