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Ottawa Senators End Winning Streak with 5-3 Loss to New York Islanders

The one where Gustavsson blows it

NHL: DEC 07 Islanders at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Sens came into this game riding high on a 3-game streak while the Islanders were desperate to end their 11-game losing streak.

The first period was a slow start for both teams with Sens missing a stellar chances. Former Senator icon Zdeno Chara took the first penalty of the game giving the Sens the chance to put the Isles on their heels early on. It wasn’t the greatest power play, they did get two shots but nothing too dangerous

Most of the first was a bit of a slog, but the Sens were definitely stifling all chances by the Islanders; a good sign as the Sens were supposed to be the more tired team. The Sens would get another power play opportunity as Adam Pelech went to the box. A better start for the PP but no reward besides Josh Norris ringing the iron.

The second period started with both teams trying to generate chances off the rush. Less than 4 minutes in, Gustavsson was caught floating in his net as Anders Lee found the back of the net to make it 1-0. Uh-oh. This type of surprise goal was a recurring theme throughout the night.

Things got worse for the Sens as a few seconds later Heatherington took Ottawa’s first penalty of the game. The Islanders power play looked dangerous and they did have more than a few good chances but the Sens killed it successfully.

The penalty kill seemed to energize the Sens as Heatherington almost got a break coming out of the box which in turn led to a series of some fantastic chances for the Sens.

Ottawa got a golden opportunity to tie the game as Mayfield got his stick up on Norris to give the Sens a 4-minute power play when the Sens’ centre was cut open. It didn’t seem like much was going on for the Sens on the PP but with 28 seconds left in the first power play, Batherson slid the perfect pass to a still bleeding Norris who made no mistakes for the tying goal.

The Sens still had 2 more minutes on the power play and looked dangerous but the best chance was an Isles breakaway shorthanded that Gustavsson came up big against with a fantastic save.

With less than 6 minutes left in the middle frame, the Sens got very sloppy in their own end and Wahlstrom made them pay to give the Isles a 2-1 lead with his 8th of the season. Disaster struck almost immediately afterwards as Anders Lee notched his second of the game 27 seconds later. Hard to blame anyone but Gustavsson for the Lee goal after the Sens’ goalie failed to corral a puck that he should have covered without difficulty.

The Sens were outshooting the Isles 20-12 after two but still found themselves trailing. Like I said in the preview, playing a motivated team that has lost 11 in a row can present its own set of challenges.

Things took a weird turn as Tim Stützle got into a fight? Poor kid got tossed over the moment he engaged but you could definitely see the signs of frustration on him especially after being on the ice for that second Islanders goal. Fortunately the Isles took the instigator but could the Sens take advantage? No, unfortunately not, even though the power play carried over between the second and the third.

The Sens continued to pile shots in the third period but still weren’t quite able to assert themselves. With 13 minutes left, another sloppy play by the Sens in their own zone led to yet another soft goal on Gustavsson to make it 4-1.

With less than 12 minutes left, a bright spot for the Sens as Nick Holden scoredhis first of the season to cut the lead in half. Still a huge hill to climb but at least there was some progress at this point.

The Sens did seem energized after that goal but New York’s determination not to let their chance at breaking the streak slip away.

With that in mind, Pageau padded the lead on another questionable goal on Gustavsson to make it 5-2. Alex Formenton potted one shorthanded to close the gap but the Sens fail the comeback and drop this one to an Islanders team that desperately needed their streak to end.

Game Notes

  • It’s never fun to end a winning streak but the Sens delivered a respectable performance — particularly for their 5th game in 7 nights.
  • I think the hottest topic now will be the less than stellar play of Filip Gustavsson who not long ago was seen as the best of our three goalies but whose recent play may have made a case for Matt Murray to make a comeback to Ottawa soon
  • Thomas Chabot needs a goal, he is dictating the play and dominating every shift and it almost seems criminal that he doesn’t have a goal yet
  • Tim Stützle is really fun to watch, it’s almost as if he gets better every game. That being said, this kid gets more frustrated than anyone else on the team. You love to see that kind of emotion from one of your top players but I sometimes wonder if he’s in his head too much.
  • How fantastic is Josh Norris’ shot?
  • How brilliant is Drake Batherson?
  • Why is Chris Tierney still on this team and what role is he exactly filling at this point?

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