With the losses piling up over the course of the last month, the Ottawa Senators continued that trend, losing 5-2 to the Winnipeg Jets. The Sens struggled to pick up momentum, with questionable goaltending being the tipping point that handed the game to the Jets.
The energy was high right out of the gate. Nick Paul dropped the gloves with Nathan Beaulieu, and later in the frame Brady Tkachuk got in a tilt with Blake Wheeler. It was a very physical start to the game, and like Tkachuk did with P.K. Subban a week ago, he came out on top. It’s wild to see a 20-year-old carrying so much confidence, but Brady was a ball of energy in a rather energy-less game for Ottawa.
No momentum was earned from the fights, however, as Neal Pionk got Winnipeg on the board for the only goal of the period. The next goal wouldn’t come until 25 seconds into the second period, with Jean-Gabriel Pageau burying a slick backhander. Kyle Connor made it 2-1 Winnipeg, and it was around that point that things began to fall apart.
The Sens took two separate minor penalties late in the period — Mike Reilly and Thomas Chabot both for hooking. And on each power play, the Jets capitalized, both times by the stick of Patrik Laine. Surprisingly, neither were off the Finn’s elite shot, with the first being poked in off a rebound and the second one being a tipped point shot.
The Sens also got another on the board by the luck of Mikkel Boedker, being in the right place after a brutal turnover by Winnipeg in their own zone. It was Boedker’s first goal of the season, and his first since April 6th, his last game of the 2018-19 season. It gave the Sens the temporary illusion that they were still in the game, before Laine pounded his fist.
After allowing four goals on 22 shots on goal, Craig Anderson was pulled in the second intermission in favour of Marcus Högberg.
To cap it off, Laine completed the all-power play hat trick, otherwise known as the Matt Puempel, to seal the Jets’ win at 5-2. Joke’s on the Winnipegers, who had to leave the arena hat-less in Winnipeg weather.
- Even though Anderson got pulled, and he still looks far off from the game-stealer that he used to be, he can’t entirely be blamed for the loss. Some defensive blunders, particularly on the PK, as well as a few favourable bounces for Winnipeg ended up giving the Jets the cruising victory. Högberg played well in the third period, stopping eleven of twelve shots on goal.
- Of those defensive blunders, Cody Goloubef may have been the most culpable to my eye, with slow decision making. He drew in for Mark Borowiecki, who’s in Ottawa with his wife anticipating the birth of their first child. Best wishes to the family!
- If there was any doubt how hesitant D.J. Smith has been with playing Mikkel Boedker this season, he was last on the team in 5v5 ice time by over a full minute. Despite the goal, I expect he’ll be headed back to the press box fairly soon.
- It’s not really related, but maybe you’ll appreciate seeing Erik Brännström score a goal for his second game in a row.
The Sens have a couple days off before finishing their brief road trip against the Colorado Avalanche, this Tuesday at 9:00 PM EST.