The Sens have been blessed with a schedule that makes no sense. However, everyone knows scheduling is never an excuse for performance and the Sens made sure to brush that theory off tonight. The Islanders are on a 9-game winning streak and look to be the team to beat lately.
The Sens started off the game with energy and were looking like they would build off the win against the New York Rangers. Jean Gabriel Pageau started things off with a shorthanded goal to give the Sens the lead. Extend the man already. Shortly after, Cal Clutterbuck scores the equalizer and the period continues with some good chances on both sides with a slight edge to the Islanders in the shots department. A well rested Craig Anderson was also having a promising start so overall, it was a good road period for the Sens.
Usually the second period is the downfall of the Sens, tonight was a bit more promising. The Sens were still not showing real signs of fatigue as they held on against a good Isles team. The power play didn’t score but it did have some very good chances and Chabot and Tkachuk were really making their presence felt in this period. However, the Sens wouldn’t be the Sens if they didn’t continue their tradition of rewarding rookies with their first NHL goals and this time it was extra special. Mark Borowiecki caught Cole Bardreau driving to the net which resulted in a penalty shot for the Isles. Knowing that he had never scored a goal yet, you just had to know it was going to go in. He is only the seventh player in the NHL to score his first goal on a penalty shot, you’re welcome kid. Down by a goal after two period of play, the Sens were still very much into the game. No real sign of back to back fatigue yet.
If you thought the Sens were playing well so far, you jinxed it. Five and a half minutes into the period, DeMelo takes a penalty. While it was a good kill for the Sens, it seems to have drained the energy out of the team. Moments later, the Sens get a power play of their own that would end all their chances in this game. A sloppy change by the team results in shorthanded goal by Casey Cizikas. Forty seconds later, Josh Bailey piles on with the Isles’ fourth goal to completely sink the Sens. The Sens completely unraveled at this point and didn’t regain any sort of control back. The game ended with a bit of a scramble, to which of course Brady Tkachuk was in the middle of. The Isles get a double minor but a 4-minute power play for the Sens in the last minute and a half was a bit too late. The game ends at 4-1 and the Sens out shot 32-28. Ten straight wins for the Isles, Tavares who?
- Losses are tough to watch but ultimately they’re what’s best for the team. That being said, on a back to back game against a team like the Islanders I expected a much worse game. The Sens are really coming together and playing some entertaining hockey, not always effective but at least it’s fun to watch.
- The Sens ended the game with a 4-minute power play, an opportunity for a short 6 on 4 advantage that DJ Smith decided to pass on. While it would have made no difference in the final result of the game, it would would have been a nice reward for one of the younger players (or the great Pageau) to get an extra goal if even just for a confidence boost. It just seemed like an odd decision by Smith.
- I know many are not entirely sold on Erik Brännström yet, I do believe he shouldn’t be spending any more time in the press box and is the better option on the ice even if he isn’t a game changer, just yet.