It was no Bobby Renaissance, but it was still pretty damn spectacular.
Coming off a magical game on Thursday, the Ottawa Senators faced off against their fellow basement-dweller the Detroit Red Wings and won their second straight game at home on the back of a strong performance from Artem Anisimov which featured two goals in regulation, the lone goal in the shootout, and ten(!) shots on goal. It wasn’t looking nearly this pretty early on, however.
Thomas Chabot didn’t start off on the right foot tonight. Not even a minute into the 1st, he gave the puck away from behind his own net, and Tyler Bertuzzi’s ensuing chance was fortunately turned away by Marcus Hogberg.
Shortly after, Ottawa would draw a power play, and generated four shots on the man advantage, featuring a display of quick puck movement from Josh Norris. They were unable to get through Jonathan Bernier however, and a few moments later Chabot turned the puck over again, this time to Adam Erne. He proceeded to skate in on a 2-on-1 with Frans Nielsen, and whilst fighting off Chabot’s back check, he slid the puck through Ron Hainsey for an easy tap-in goal by Nielsen.
Down 1-0, Ottawa continued to battle evenly with Detroit, as neither team gave the other too much to work with. The Sens would kill off a Detroit power play before heading to the dressing room with the shots even at ten apiece.
Despite their position to battle for a tying goal, the Senators came out extremely flat in the 2nd period; I know the roster is extremely low quality but when the 2019-20 Detroit Red Wings go up in shots 7-2 in the period, you kind of have to think that your hockey club is more focused on the upcoming draft lottery.
During this onslaught, the Red Wings would double their lead. Bertuzzi entered the zone with Robby Fabbri and Dylan Larkin, executing a 3-on-2 rush to perfection; the finish coming courtesy of Larkin. Note the beauty of a pass by Bertuzzi, who’s having a hell of a season for a team that’s having a hell of a season.
Ottawa, now down by two goals, managed to get their act together in the second half of the frame. Not only did they push the even-strength play back into their favour, they also generated several more attempts via three drawn power-plays. Artem Anisimov would score his 14th goal of the season on the second of those three attempts:
PPG by Anisimov, Assisted by Reilly and Tierney pic.twitter.com/7du5Qk72AG— OSNL (@OSNL11) March 1, 2020
The final power play would carry into the 3rd period as Ottawa went into the intermission up in shots 21-19, and up in 5v5 attempts 34-30.
Both teams came out battle-ready in the third period, as momentum swung back and forth throughout the final frame. Ottawa’s push for the tying goal bore its fruits early on, as Scott Sabourin, of all people took the puck to the net with a nice power move, and his attempt changed direction a couple of times before ending up in the back of the net:
Some time after that, Anisimov gave the Senators the lead with his second tally of the game, off of a nice feed from Jayce Hawryluk:
Unfortunately, the lead would not last long as the Wings found themselves on the power play after a tripping call on Nikita Zaitsev. Sam Gagner would tie the game with a textbook deflection in front of the net. With the score 3-3 at the end of regulation, both teams prepared for overtime.
Starting out with a trio of Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris and Chabot, the Senators controlled the flow in the extra frame, eventually drawing a penalty. Artem Anisimov would get multiple attempts at the OT winner with his family in the crowd:
The Anisimov family really wanted Dad to pull off the hat trick in OT. So close! pic.twitter.com/QP8rAlllCN— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) March 1, 2020
Ottawa failed to end the game in overtime, but Anisimov would tie a ribbon on the night, winning the team a not-really-needed extra point with the lone goal in the shootout (which featured Mike Reilly, for some reason) for a 4-3 Senators victory. Overall, a great performance given the absence of talent in the lineup, with Ottawa generating 39 shots on goal compared to Detroit’s 28.
- How do we all feel about Artem Anisimov? Not necessarily tonight, but overall? I think he’s helped us a fair bit in getting through this tough season. He’s certainly overpaid with a 4.55M cap hit but his 15 goals on the season are nothing to sneeze at. He looks like he’ll be a capable veteran for next season as the Senators will need his contract among others to reach the floor.
- Jayce Hawryluk is someone who, if he keeps up his play, I’d like to see back next season in a depth role. His physicality and pursuit of the puck in the offensive zone are great traits for a fourth-liner and it seems as though he’s got a decent-enough offensive toolkit.
- Thomas Chabot cleaned up his play as the game went on, but his outing today was lacklustre overall. With the roster already in shambles and the results of games having little to no meaning, maybe some load management in the form of reduced (~20) minutes would be beneficial to him?
- The Senators hit the road once again for a 7:00 PM EST tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, March 3rd.