So it begins, the era of the Sens with Brady Tkachuk as alternate captain! After quite the emotional day for the Sens, they had to gather what’s left of the team and face the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Sens were short on players due to injury and late call ups that didn’t arrive in time. The Blue Jackets hadn’t won a game since February 7th, so really the game could have gone either way.
The Blue Jackets wasted no time and got ahead into the game just 4 minutes in by no other than former Sens favourite, Nick Foligno. Not only was Foligno left alone in the spot in front of the net to receive a perfect pass, but Nyquist was allowed to make that pass from behind the net. It seemed like a complete mess of communication between the entire group on ice. While I completely forgot about Chris Tierney, he did make some good plays in the first period including a series of good plays on a shift that saw him connect with Connor Brown on an improbable shot that tied the game.
The Sens seemed to really slow down after that goal and at times looked overwhelmed. While Thomas Chabot started off the period with some slick plays, he was starting to make a few dangerous mistakes as the period went on including almost scoring into his own net. The Sens didn’t have a shot on net after their tying goal up until the last few second of the period. The pace was slow as both teams were trying to avoid mistakes. The bright spot of the period was definitely the play of Marcus Hogberg who was giving the Sens all the chances he could to make sure they stay in the game.
The second period came with some more chances exchanged but the game was still at an extremely slow pace. The Sens were having a lot of trouble getting out of their own zone and when they did, not much was going for them. With a little over 10 minutes left in the period, the Sens get a power play chance after Tkachuk draws an interference call by Foligno. With a clean face off win and the perfect Nick Paul screen, Connor Brown gets his second of the night to put the Sens ahead 2-1.
Next up, things got a little ugly for the Blue Jackets when Anthony Duclair got tangled with their goalie who ended up hitting his head on the ice. After some discussion, they decided that Elvis Merzlikins was to go off for further evaluation. Good move. Joonas Korpisalo was now in net for the Blue Jackets. The two team continued to exchange chances with both goalies being the stars on each end. With seven minutes left in the period, the Blue Jackets managed to completely control the play in the Sens zone with some high traffic passes and shots. The Sens looked absolutely lost in the sequence and Nick Foligno took advantage of the situation to score his second of the night and tie the game.
With less than three minutes left in the game, it seemed coach Tortorella got some extremely unpleasant news about his goalie and moments later, the broadcast would show the emergency backup goalie getting ready. The Blue Jackets had already lost Riley Nash in the second period, so both teams were looking shorthanded going into the third.
Not much would happen in the third until Colin White broke the tie with ten minutes left in the period on a great play by Thomas Chabot. It was nice to see White contributing especially on a hard fought goal in front of the net with him not giving up on the rebounds.
Seconds later, White was hit from behind as he battled for the puck on the board. It takes him a while to get off the ice and then he heads into the dressing room. On that same play, 29 seconds after the goal, Scott Harrington’s blue-line shot is tipped by Stefan Matteau for the tying goal. Colin White would eventually return but the score remained tied for the rest of the period.
It seemed Marcus Hogberg is definitely not on team tank as he was playing with every ounce of strength he had. As the third period came to an end, the Blue Jackets were starting to overwhelm the Sens but Hogberg took the game to overtime and really deserved a win tonight.
Overtime started a bit slow to continue the theme of the game. With around three minutes left the pace picked up and both teams were going end to end exchanging dangerous chances. While both goalies were having a good game, it was Hogberg who was facing the harder shots with almost no support. With the game seemingly headed to a shootout, the Jackets go into the Ottawa zone at full force and while Hogberg makes the initial save, the rebound went straight to Emil Bemstrom who had an open net for the game winner with 25 second left.
- Marcus Hogberg is looking like the real deal. He didn’t get the win tonight but he really would have deserved it. He was fighting the puck on some saves but that was only because the defensive support was non existent.
- Thomas Chabot had some bad plays during the first period but overall, while his game did improve I did sense some hesitation from him. I really hope the Sens are not risking playing him with an injury.
- With Pageau gone, the Sens will be looking to White for some production and he delivered tonight. Let’s hope he can have some consistency now.
- Balcers was supposed to join the team tonight and while he did make it to the game in the second intermission, his equipment did not join him and the Sens finished the game shorthanded on players.
- Today is the one year anniversary of the Duclair trade, it’s safe to say that both the Sens and Duclair are happy with how this trade went. Also fitting that he’s playing his old team tonight to celebrate the occasion.
- Anthony Duclair left the game in the third period after taking a shot off the foot, DJ Smith had some pretty bad news after the game:
Anthony Duclair left the game midway thru the 3rd tonight after taking a shot off the foot.— Kyle Bukauskas (@SNkylebukauskas) February 25, 2020
DJ Smith says he won’t play tomorrow in Nashville and will likely “be out for a bit” #Sens