In their second game past the trade deadline, the Ottawa Senators continued to show that they still have some fight, but are ultimately still destined as one of the bottom teams in the NHL. A quick start led to a desert dry third period, with the Nashville Predators securing the 3-2 win.
The Senators got off to a quick start, pushing the Preds’ defence in the first period. Thomas Chabot opened the scoring off a rebound goal, with Scott Sabourin’s assist being his fifth point of the season. But it only took seconds for the Predators to tie it, however, as Ryan Johansen dangled Nick Paul to set up another rebound goal for Colin Blackwell.
Chabot opens the scoring in Nashville.— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) February 26, 2020
GOAL: Chabot (6)
ASSISTS: Sabourin (4), Hainsey (11) pic.twitter.com/VnbADosBHv
The score was even, but with the Sens icing a depleted lineup, they still managed to tilt play in their favour. Having been up and down between leagues numerous times this month, Filip Chlapik brought the Sens back up in his first game back up from Belleville. It was yet another rebound goal which Juuse Saros couldn’t stop, with fellow AHL call-up Rudolfs Balcers taking the rebound-seeking shot. The Sens were up 2-1, and had 17 shots on goal by first intermission.
That's Chlappie.— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) February 26, 2020
GOAL: Chlapik (3)
ASSISTS: Balcers (2), Hawryluk (4) pic.twitter.com/AGl9yeNsol
The second period was more even than the first, but a penalty to Chris Tierney gave the Preds a bigger chance, and Ryan Ellis capitalized with Tierney almost ready to exit the box. A clean faceoff win led to a clean look at the net for the star defenceman, who got the puck past Craig Anderson to tie the game at two apiece.
Ottawa’s penalty troubles continued yet again, this time with Christian Jaros sitting for high-sticking. The penalty kill seemed to be going well — Tierney had a long breakaway that missed the net. But it only took a couple more plays for Nashville to score on, you guessed it, another rebound goal. Viktor Arvidsson had the tap-in, and the lead was suddenly in the hands of the Predators.
If this game had to be decided by rounds like a boxing match, round #1 went to Ottawa, round #2 went to Nashville, and round #3 was dead even. Neither team was able to generate much offensively, and Ottawa’s power play opportunity was denied by Saros and the Preds’ PK. There was a stretch of roughly three minutes where neither team managed to get a single shot attempt.
But this isn’t boxing, and there was no extra time. The Predators’ one-goal lead was enough to last them to the end, despite the Sens’ last-ditch effort with the goalie pulled. Final score: 3-2 for the Preds.
- Bobby Ryan may not have been hugely instrumental in this game (although he had a couple good looks at the net), but the fact that he’s here for his first game back, while also celebrating 100 days sober, is worthy of massive praise.
- With the rest of the Sens’ defence either injured or just not very good, the load seems to be falling on Thomas Chabot to play over half the game. He played a total of 32:36.
- For better or for worse, Mike Reilly continues to try to do things offensively. His six shots (four on goal) were both highs on the Sens.
- The Sharks lost. The Islanders lost in overtime. It was a great day for the Sens’ lottery odds.
- Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored in his first game for the Islanders, against none other than the New York Rangers. Fans chanted. Rangers fans were furious. It’s hard to watch as a Sens fan, but the world still appears to be in balance.
The Sens are back home this Thursday to face the Vancouver Canucks.