It was all fun and games, until we lost.
Having lost five games in a row prior to tonight, the Ottawa Senators were looking to turn things around, and with their opponent being the Detroit Red Wings, the opportunity was there. They unfortunately came up just short, losing a tight battle in the shootout.
Throughout the first period, both teams were sloppy with their attempted breakouts; the puck was turned over in the neutral zone more times than I could count. To my observation, the Wings entered the zone more frequently than the Senators, but the latter were able to generate a flurry of scoring chances in a two-minute span, courtesy of relentless pressure from Colin White, Tyler Ennis and Filip Chlapik.
Ultimately, Detroit would get on the board first thanks to Tyler Bertuzzi, who separated himself from the defending Senators in their own end and tipped a Filip Hronek point shot past Marcus Hogberg for the 1-0 lead. The period ended with Ottawa up in shots 10-6, but down in 5v5 attempts 18-16. Overall, not a great period considering what we’ve seen against better teams (well, not recently.).
The second period saw the Senators improve, but it took them awhile to get some breathing room. Three minutes in, Ron Hainsey took a penalty after turning the puck over behind his own net. Ottawa looked great on the kill until they took a too many men penalty! The Sens continued their good work though, holding on until Ron Hainsey exited the penalty box and found himself on a 2-on-1 with the undisputed king of shorthanded goals, Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
You already know what happens next.
Pageau misses the reception of the pass, and Dylan Larkin takes the puck the other way, catching the penalty killers flat-footed and dangles Hogberg to give Detroit a 2-0 lead.
It took Ottawa almost six minutes to get a shot on goal in the second period, however Brady Tkachuk made it count, filling the net with a puck off a wacky wraparound attempt.
Tkachuk would continue to stir up trouble, getting into a scuffle with Hronek. A couple unnecessary shots from the latter resulted in an Ottawa Senators power play.
You already know what happens next.
The Sens put on a puck control clinic on the man advantage, forcing Jonathan Bernier to make multiple nice saves before Colin White tips a shot from Mike Reilly into the net to tie the game at two.
Again, WHAT?! That power play marker brought about Reilly’s first point as a Senator.
From that point on, the Senators looked like the dominant team until the end of the period, up in shots 19-14 after forty minutes of play, 5v5 attempts at 27 apiece.
The third period was defined by shifts in momentum, as both teams took turns pushing the shot attempt battle in their favour. Both goaltenders made some key saves to keep the game tied, particular Hogberg’s on a deflection and Bernier’s on a wraparound. Despite Connor Brown taking a tripping call with 1:25 to go in the 3rd. Ottawa would survive until the end of regulation, and would proceed to kill off the remainder of the man advantage in overtime.
Both teams had fantastic chances to end the game in overtime, and with Detroit gunning for the rare two-game winning streak, this happened:
This is seriously peak 2019-2020 Red Wings pic.twitter.com/km13rV7wVd— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) January 11, 2020
This side-splitting sequence preceded a Senators’ power-play attempt which despite some close calls, failed to end the game before the shootout. Tyler Ennis’ attempt in the ensuing skills competition was something else:
This unique attempt was one of five that were stopped, with the lone goal being scored by Dylan Larkin to give the Red Wings the 3-2 win in the shootout. The final shot tally was 31-28 in favour of Ottawa.
- So that wasn’t too bad, right? I mean we did lose to the worst team in the NHL but when you have Andreas Englund and Cody Goloubef on your third pair (not picking on their performance tonight, just noting that they’re AHL-caliber guys), you really just have to be happy with the team’s shot metrics and hope they clean up their silly mistakes for next game.
- Marcus Hogberg was sensational. I made note of his rebound control being the one thing he needed to fine-tune after his start against the Flames, tonight it was a lot better. The Senators are on a back-to-back so I’m guessing they’ll go back to Anderson tomorrow, but I would like to see Hogberg get some more starts before he’s sent down.
- Filip Chlapik looked like a brand new player after his stint with Belleville. While he didn’t look out of place in previous games with the big club, tonight he pursued the puck with more energy than I’ve ever seen from him, and was a physical presence on both offence and defence. With Drake Batherson and Rudolfs Balcers also looking more like complete players after their time in the minors, maybe Pierre Dorion is on to something with this whole “patience” motif.
A back-and-forth affair ending in a dead-even shot attempt battle.
Both teams generated the bulk of their chances from the point and around the net, with Ottawa also favouring the right circle. A positive note; the Senators finished with a 5v5 xGF% of 56.51%.
- The Senators are back at it again tomorrow, January 10th against the Montreal Canadiens at 7:00 PM EST. They’ve lost all three of their games against the Red Wings this season. How can a team be responsible for 25% of another team’s wins?