The rebuild is over, Pierre Dorion remarked heading into the season. Ten games in, with a 3-6-1 record, it’s understandable that many fans may be doubting that statement after all.
Following a three game road trip, the Sens welcomed the Vegas Golden Knights for a Thursday night affair at the Canadian Tire Centre. With Nick Holden and Dylan Gambrell back in the lineup and Filip Gustavsson between the pipes, the opening period was relatively even between the two clubs. The Sens outshot the Golden Knights 16-11, with Gustavsson making some key saves including this beauty:
Gustavsson ROBS Dadonov. Classic Dadonov. pic.twitter.com/ymg4pug5Vu— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) November 4, 2021
The second period brought a different feeling to it than the first, with the shots shifting in Vegas’ favour and, worse, the goals doing the same. Less than five minutes into the period, William Carrier got the visitors on the board with a soft one that every goalie would want back.
Carrier with the change-up ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/Li4P26tRkM— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) November 5, 2021
Just five minutes later, Brett Howden got on the board for his first of the season. This goal came on a complete defensive relapse, where Howden was left with nobody around him for miles. He had time to re-tape his stick before a Sens player could get to him - a sad but common theme of the last few games.
In what feels like familiar fashion of late, the Golden Knights extended their lead on the very next shift. Jonathan Marchessault potted his third of the season while he stood, once again, all alone in front of the Sens net. Another goal where Gustavsson got no help from the team in front of him.
It's-a-me! Marchessault! pic.twitter.com/M8XRRnRME2— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) November 5, 2021
Before the end of the second, Brady Tkachuk gave some life to Sens fans in the arena by tipping home his second of the season on a point shot from Artem Zub. Drake Batherson tallied the secondary helper, bringing his point total to 11 in 10 games.
Late in the third period, the Golden Knights extended their lead on a point shot from Alex Pietrangelo that deflected off Nick Paul in front and beat Gustavsson cleanly.
Vegas added an empty netter to beat the Sens 5-1.
- Despite allowing four goals, Gustavsson still turned away __ shots and you can easily say, with better defensive coverage in front of the net, two of the four goals he let in shouldn’t have happened.
- The defense pairing of Thomas Chabot and Artem Zub continues to be the only bright spot on the blueline. Chabot finished the game with a 61.82 CF%, while Zub was right behind him with 53.70 CF%. When these two are on the ice, the Sens consistently outchance their opponents. They were also the only two defenders with a positive xGF%.
- I really enjoyed Zach Sanford’s game tonight. He made virtually no mistakes and had more jump than what we’ve seen of late. He was one of only seven Sens players who came out positive in the corsi fight and he trailed only Brady Tkachuk (6) with five shots on net.