When I got the call for last-minute free tickets to go to the game; I hesitated. Do I want to watch the Sens get embarrassed by the one team that is worse than them? Then I thought back to Melnyk’s comments last night and realized; I need a proper goodbye to Duchene and Stone if that’s what it’s coming down to. Now, there is no way possible I can survive their departure; just stay. Please!
The first period started a bit slow with the Sens shaking off the last night fatigue and Ducks trying not to be their usual horrible selves. Nilsson made some key saves, and it’s a whole other view when you see him live. He is MASSIVE!
With almost 12 minutes left in the game, Mark Stone puts on a full display of greatness. As Nilsson shrugs off a shot, DeMelo connects with Tkachuk to get the puck to Stone. Stone takes over and sticks with it through multiple Ducks players to get a backhand shot which was momentarily saved. Hello, Brady Tkachuk parked in front of the net for a quick rebound goal to make his landlord happy. It’s a 1-0 game!
The momentum slightly shifted towards the Ducks as the Sens stopped attempting shots altogether.
The game ended with the Ducks out shooting the Sens 17-8 and Bobby Ryan missing a platinum breakaway opportunity because he thought he was in the skills competition.
The second period seemed to be a complete snooze fest except for the play of Nilsson who kept impressing as the game went on. The Sens had a decent power play but failed to capitalize on it. It was evident though that the big guns of Stone, Tkachuk, and Duchene came out to play.
The Sens started to take a firm hold of the game as the period progressed and they ended the period with a goal that could be one of the last few we see from Duchene. With less than 3 minutes left in the second period, Chabot finds an outlet out of his zone for a perfect pass to Duchene who makes no mistake on scoring with the partial breakaway he got. 2-0 Sens and my heart continues to break.
Please don’t leave Duchene; just pay him the money.
The Sens outshot the Ducks 16-9 in the second period, but hey third-period meltdowns are always possible (expected).
The third period proved to be the most entertaining. Chad Johnson had come in for the Ducks as Gibson had suffered an injury in the second. Twenty more minutes, let’s go!
The Ducks had a lot of fight in them and brought in some pressure for the third. The Sens actually fought back and didn’t let the excuse of back to back games set in. Anders Nilsson was a massive part of that fight. He is really great at using his size to his advantage.
The Sens were a bit careless with the penalties taking two this period. First one by Tkachuk was safely killed to preserve the 2-goal lead. The kill gave the team some momentum.
In comes another heartbreak; our unofficial (official in our hearts) Captain makes it 3-0 with a perfect wrister. Credit to Ceci on some good plays in that shift and a great celebration with Stone afterward. Why can’t we keep him forever? Stone that is.
The chances kept coming for both teams with Nilsson making the more challenging saves. It never feels like a safe lead with these Sens.
With less than 5 minutes left Bobby Ryan takes a slashing penalty against his former team at a crucial time. The Ducks found it to be the perfect opportunity to pull the goalie for an extended 2-man advantage and it seemed like it would work except for some Nilsson heroics. The Sens managed to kill the penalty without scoring an empty netter; although the Ducks almost did it to themselves.
With 30 seconds left and the Sens desperately trying to give Nilsson his first Sens shutout; Duchene comes through for the empty net dagger to end the game at 4-0.
It was a fun game to watch; a little emotional to see the arena so empty though. I miss going to games; I really do. Can we just move forward? Just sign Duchene and Stone; just please do it.
- Anders Nilsson: his first shutout as a member of the Ottawa Senators was well earned. He made 45 saves with many of them being quite impressive,
- Matt Duchene: he deserves to get paid; he is so much fun to watch with tons of skill and creativity. Two goals tonight and a whole lot of fire all game. Please don’t leave us.
- Mark Stone: alongside Brady Tkachuk; he was his usual force tonight. Playing with demanding presence all game; he just seemed more zoned in than most recent games. Please don’t leave us.
- Cody Ceci: maybe I was on a high from being in the arena, but he did seem to have a good game. Maybe at least by Ceci standards?