clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Senators Dominant on the Power Play, Beat Sabres 5-2

New, comments

Mike Reilly and Nikita Zaitsev both scored their first goal as a Senator.

Ottawa Senators v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

This kind of performance? On the second half of a back-to-back no less? I’ll take it.

After allowing 53 shots on goal in yesterday’s shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils, the Ottawa Senators were determined to put together a much better effort tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. They delivered, holding the Sabres to 30 shots and scoring three power play goals, en route to a 5-2 victory.

The Senators would open the scoring in the first period with their second power-play goal in as many games, as Jean-Gabriel Pageau took a pass from Thomas Chabot and made no mistake:

Ottawa would hold Buffalo to zero shots on goal for the first eight minutes of the game, before the former took a couple of minor penalties, the second of which resulted in Sam Reinhart tying the game at one. Look at this ill-advised Ron Hainsey pass gone horribly wrong:

The period ended with Ottawa up in shots 13-8, and down in 5v5 attempts 8-7. Anthony Duclair was close to making it 2-1 in the final minute with his fourth shot of the frame, but his attempt was foiled by the glove of Linus Ullmark:

The second period would open with both teams trading power-play attempts, and after a successful kill, the Senators would score their second power-play goal of the game, courtesy of Tyler Ennis. His goal paints a similar picture to his goal against the Devils yesterday, with Drake Batherson’s passing once again on display:

Ennis is now at thirteen goals on the season, and is becoming a very attractive piece for teams at the deadline for his production and low cap hit.

Unfortunately, Jack Eichel would tie the game minutes later, thanks to some poor rebound control from Anderson:

Refusing to get discouraged, the Senators pushed to take the lead once again, and while the second period ended 2-2, they generated tons of offence, including a great shift from Scott Sabourin and Artem Anisimov. The Sens went into the intermission up in shots 30-15, and up in 5v5 attempts 30-18.

The Sabres would go on the attack in the third period, slowly climbing back into the shot attempt battle. In their push for the go-ahead goal, however, Jeff Skinner took a high-sticking penalty on Chabot, and Ottawa somehow managed to score on their third consecutive power play attempt:

Props to Tyler Ennis for that sweet no-look pass to Reilly, who drove home his first goal as a Senator.

Both teams would then run into some injury trouble. First, Ullmark went down awkwardly on his right leg and had to be pulled from the game in favour of Carter Hutton. Shortly afterwards, Kyle Okposo unintentionally took out Mark Borowiecki’s right skate, and the latter went down favouring his hamstring. However, being the absolute unit that he is, Borocop returned in time for a huge penalty kill. With Nikita Zaitsev in the box for roughing, and Hutton on the bench for the extra attacker, Borowiecki would come in clutch for the Senators:

My. God.

That goal would seal the deal for the Senators, but Zaitsev added a second empty-net goal (also his first as a Senator!) to cap off a convincing 5-2 victory for your Ottawa Senators. Craig Anderson turned away 28 pucks, and Ottawa threw 39 of their own at the Buffalo goaltenders.

Thoughts:

  • Anderson was solid in net despite his gaffe on the Sabres’ 2nd goal. I do wish that Ottawa could give Marcus Hogberg the same 60-minute effort as tonight’s.
  • Mark Borowiecki and Mike Reilly both have looked like more than mere depth NHL defenders this season. With Christian Wolanin on a 1-way contract next season, and Erik Brannstrom turning heads in Belleville, Ottawa’s defence is deeper on the left side than it’s been in a very long time.
  • Anthony Duclair was unable to end his goal-scoring drought, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying, as he tallied nine shots on goal, including quite a few high-danger chances. Brady Tkachuk had eight shots of his own as well. Talk about your Shooting Stars!
  • The Senators are 5-6-8 in their last nineteen games. Wild.

Stats:

Great effort from the Senators overall, as they were absolutely dominant in the second period before fighting off the Sabres’ counterattack.

Ottawa heavily favoured the left point tonight, a good representation of their mobile left-handed defensemen.

Up Next:

Ottawa’s next game is this Friday, Jan. 31st against the Washington Capitals at 7:30 PM EST.