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Senators struggle early, fall 5-2 to Ducks

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Nicolas Deslauriers had a first-period hat trick

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Anaheim Ducks Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

For four years Ross held the top spot
In the Silver Seven manager slot
He went on hiatus
Fans asked, “Does he hate us?”
So he returned just to say he does not

Well, folks, it’s been a while. I haven’t recapped a game since October 18th. And though I still occasionally pop into the comments here, I have to say I haven’t watched that much Sens hockey this year. My wife put it best, saying I love the Senators too much, which makes it painful to watch the shamble this team has become. That’s why, even though the Sens and I are both currently in California, I couldn’t bring myself to go watch them live. So tonight I put on the game at home, and felt something akin to nostalgia wash over me as I found myself cheering for some of my new faves on the team, and watching some hockey without caring too much about the final outcome. It reminds me that this is still my team, and when Eugene Melnyk is finally ousted, I’ll return to the rabid levels of fandom I used to feel.

Anyway, tonight’s game. The first period definitely made me grateful that I wasn’t attending the game. Despite outshooting the Ducks 14-6, the Sens entered the intermission down 4-0. The Ducks’ lead was due in large part to the first-career hat trick by Nicolas Deslauriers, as well as a bit of bad luck (from Ottawa’s perspective) around Ryan Miller’s net.

The second period started off OK for Ottawa, with Brady Tkachuk potting his 21st of the season:

But the comeback was shortlived, with Rickard Rakell getting hauled down on what looked an awful lot like a breakaway, and then scoring on the ensuing powerplay. I was surprised that Marcus Hogberg hadn’t got the mercy pull at 4-0, and after allowing his fifth on just his eighth shot against, I was very surprised to see DJ Smith leave him in net. The Sens continued to get the bulk of chances, but that did it for scoring in the second.

For the most part, the third period felt like a formality. Both teams had accepted the result of the game. The only Sens players who hadn’t given up seemed to be Brady Tkachuk and Colin White, who continued to forecheck, pressure the puck, and try to set up offence. The two were instrumental in the only goal of the period, with just over six minutes left. And that did it for the game, with the Ducks winning 5-2 though they were outshot 42-15.

Notable Performances:

  • Tkachuk and White were the team’s only goal scorers, but I also picked them out early in the third as the only players who seemed to still be trying. Tkachuk always plays with a never-quite attitude, and kept throwing his weight around, trying to will the team back into it. White played like he was desperate to get on the scoresheet, and was money for his goal.
  • Hogberg had a weird game in which he faced no shots, but nearly all were high-danger. Still, he did himself no favours in not being able to muster a save when his team needed one. One goal was truly his fault, but you’ve gotta make some impressive saves to keep your team in it.
  • Speaking of impressive saves, 39-year-old Ryan Miller made a few. I constantly forget Miller’s even still in the league. Tonight, I definitely didn’t forget.
  • Shoutout to the Fox Sports broadcast team, who confused Connor Brown (no. 28) for Colin White (no. 36) and Nikita Zaitsev (no. 22). Made me feel right at home like I was watching a Bob Cole broadcast.

Game Flow:

Shot Chart: