What may have been the Ottawa Senators’ best game of the season, may have ended up as their most frustrating.
The Sens outplayed the Montreal Canadiens for the majority of the contest, riding a great performance by Marcus Hogberg, but Ilya Kovalchuk scored his first goal as a Canadien with 52 seconds left to play in overtime, and Ottawa fell 2-1.
Ottawa’s losing streak extends to seven games, while the Habs snap theirs at eight.
Despite a good start by the Sens, Montreal struck first on the powerplay. With Dylan DeMelo in the box for crosschecking, Nick Suzuki ripped a well-placed shot from the top of the circle, and beat Hogberg to open the scoring.
The goal would give the Habs some momentum, allowing them to maintain puck possession and establish a presence in the Ottawa zone, until about halfway through the second period. With the bad guys circling, Hogberg stood tall, even while killing penalties, to keep his team in it.
With about 30 minutes to go, his teammates would begin to reward him. A rally led by Brady Tkachuk, Anthony Duclair, and Thomas Chabot would see the Senators use their speed to keep Montreal on their heels, and pepper Carey Price with shots.
With Price making some really great saves, and the puck just not bouncing Ottawa’s way, it seemed like a lost cause, until they finally broke through.
Sometimes, you just need a bit of puck luck, and that’s what Drake Batherson got for his first goal of the season. He and Duclair made a nice play to try to get the puck to the net, but it would be Montreal’s Matthew Peca that knocked the puck into his own goal, to tie the game at 1-1.
Beauty goal by Drake to tie it.— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) January 12, 2020
GOAL: Batherson (1)
Batherson’s looked great in his return to Ottawa, so it’s nice to see him get rewarded with a bit of luck.
Unfortunately by now, we know better than to expect nice things.
Thomas Chabot made a quick rush into the Montreal end in overtime, but was hauled down in the slot on a...questionable...play. The Habs would take the puck the other way, obviously with the numbers advantage, and Ilya Kovalchuk fired a shot that Hogberg had no chance on, to win the game 2-1.
The Senators played great, outshooting Montreal 42-25, but couldn’t pull out the W tonight. This one was tough.
- Hats off to Marcus Hogberg on this one, he did everything he could to win the game for Ottawa, and had little shot of stopping the game-winner. He has a record of 1-2-4 this year, but he’s honestly looked really good in almost every appearance. With a bevy of goaltending prospects in the system, look for Hoggy to continue to separate himself from the pack.
- Brady Tkachuk was all over the ice, as per usual. Crashing the Montreal net, and dominating in terms of possession with an INSANE 70.37% Corsi rating at 5on5. Like Hogberg, Brady did everything he could to help Ottawa win tonight. He appears to thrive in these rivalry games.
- Another game, another really solid performance from Drake Batherson. Even aside from the tying goal, he lagged only behind Tkachuk in terms of Corsi, with 70% at 5on5. His newfound confidence is doing him really well, especially in terms of his powerplay puck movement. Look out for him to get more minutes, and capitalize even further.
- This is Ottawa’s longest losing streak of the season, no surprise. With a tough stretch ahead of them (Chicago, Vegas, Calgary) before the All-Star break, it might be awhile before we see them win again.
- Anthony Duclair had one of his worst games of the season, posting only 25% at 5on5, which is great news for me; who had the foresight to start him on my fantasy team. Even aside from the “fancy stats”, Duclair struggled to generate much offensively. I don’t know if he’s still struggling with his injury, but he hasn’t scored in eight games now. Hopefully a couple days off will do him some good.
High on the ends, low in the middle. Need a 60 minute effort, even against weaker teams like Montreal (good luck getting those other 50 points you need to make the playoffs, geeks).
Lots of shots by Ottawa. A good performance by Price was their undoing.
The Sens are back in action on Tuesday, where they’ll try to snap their seven-game skid while hosting the Chicago Blackhawks. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30pmET.