While a three-point game wasn’t the best outcome with the NHL Draft Lottery in mind, the Ottawa Senators will take a win in California.
Nick Paul opened the scoring, and Chris Tierney finished his former squad in overtime, as the Sens defeated the San Jose Sharks by a final score of 2-1. Craig Anderson was stout, stopping 31 of 32 shots, and Ottawa looked all-around great, especially in the third period, where they outshout the Sharks 13-5.
The game was played despite California health officials urging the Sharks to cancel the contest, due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 throughout the state. There were noticeably fewer fans in attendance, and the NHL will no longer allow media members in team locker rooms.
The first period was a back and forth affair, but the Sharks were able to outshoot Ottawa on the back of three power play opportunities. After the Sens killed (another) too many men penalty, they broke the deadlock at the 10:33 mark of the opening frame. A great forecheck by Jayce Hawryluk found the puck on Anthony Duclair’s stick behind the San Jose goal, and he centred Nick Paul who made no mistake to open the scoring.
Paul opens the scoring in San Jose.— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 8, 2020
GOAL: Paul (9)
ASSISTS: Duclair (16), Hawryluk (7) pic.twitter.com/4RMrqhIJD0
Full line effort on this one, really good stuff from all three.
Ottawa’s lack of discipline would inevitably hurt them, though, in the dying seconds of the period. With Bobby Ryan in the box for goaltender interference, and 11 seconds let on the clock, a Brent Burns rebound bounced to Evander Kane on the doorstep, and his 25th of the year knotted things up at 1-1.
Trailing 16-14 in the shots on goal totals, Ottawa got somewhat of a response in the second, outshooting the Sharks 10-9. Even despite being outplayed, San Jose appeared to take a 2-1 lead, but the goal was immediately waved off when Radek Simek made the most obvious kicking motion outside of FIFA to put the puck past Craig Anderson.
When it rains it pours, and with two seconds left in the period, Simek closed his hand on the puck in the San Jose crease, and the Senators were awarded a penalty shot. Former Shark Chris Tierney couldn’t convert on the opportunity, and the teams went into the final 20 minutes of regulation still tied at 1-1.
Despite a flurry of chances in the third period, the two teams miraculously stayed tied. Missing open nets, bouncing pucks, and hitting posts because of course a game with such amazing lottery implications had to be a three-pointer.
And, of course, it ended quickly in overtime.
Anthony Duclair made a beautiful rush down the ice, and fed Tierney in the slot with a dazzling saucer pass. #71 had all day to chip the puck over Aaron Dell, and hand his old team the loser point.
Senators (+140) win it on a Chris Tierney goal 35 seconds into OT— Bet The Pucks (@betthepucks) March 8, 2020
Decent game for Ottawa. Neither of these teams are very good, and while a three-point game is not ideal, it’s nice to see San Jose lose.
- Chris Tierney had a really nice game. He’s at his best when he’s able to accelerate in transition through the neutral zone, and feed teammates going into the attacking end. He made a deft little pass to set up Rudy Balcers for a great chance at the beginning of the game, and looked really good on the penalty kill. Tierney needs to put nights like this together on a consistent basis.
- Anthony Duclair had his second really solid performance in a row. He appears more relaxed, and focused on playing to his strengths to find success. Duke had some nice chances, and his setup of them game winner was just silky. I love this guy.
- Craig Anderson ended the night stopping 31 of 32 shots, but truly stood on his head in the third period. The Sharks only mustered five shots compared to Ottawa’s 13, but there were some seriously high-percentage chances, and mad scrambles in front of the goal. Some nights, he’s still got it.
- This marks the first time since 2016 that the Sens have swept the season series with San Jose.
- Colin White showed up tonight. Steve Warne puts it best:
Colin White gave us a glimpse tonight of what he can be, reminding everyone you don't give up on 23-year-old centre you drafted in the first round (uh, Zibanejad's 5 goal game this week was also pretty decent nudge).— Steve Warne (@TSNSteve) March 8, 2020
What a third period...
Both teams generated a lot from the net front, but Ottawa gets the last laugh tonight.
The California road trip makes a stop in Anaheim on Tuesday night. Puck drop is set for 10:00pmET. It’s worth mentioning that with the ongoing spread of COVID-19 throughout the state of California, that these games could be subject to change. Stay tuned.