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Ottawa Senators Win First Battle of the Tkachuks of 2021, 6-1 Over Calgary Flames

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Yes... ha ha ha... YES!

NHL: FEB 25 FLAMES AT SENATORS Photo by Steven Kingsman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I know a lot of Sens fans have had tonight’s game circled on their calendar for a long time. Tkachuk vs Tkachuk games are rare in a normal season, and for some reason the NHL decided that these kings of chaos couldn’t play each other until late February this year. Maybe they knew we couldn’t handle it. Honestly, I understand it. One Tkachuk changes the energy of a game. But two of them? None of us can handle that. It’s too much.

For a matchup between two teams that normally only play each other twice a year, this game was ridiculously fun. Maybe it was the Tkachuk energy, or maybe it was just that we haven’t seen the Sens play such a complete game in a long time, but whatever the reason, this game absolutely ruled. It was a ton of fun to watch, and honestly? After what we’ve had to endure over the last 3 years, we Sens fans deserve a team that delivers this level of entertainment, even from last place in the league.

The game started out on a fantastic note, which is to say that the Sens DJ played “SICKO MODE,” after many, many requests on twitter. The Sens, obviously motivated by this excellent choice, had a nice jump to their step right off the opening faceoff, spending a decent amount of time in the offensive zone even if they didn’t get any particularly good scoring chances just yet. Fittingly, Brady Tkachuk got the first good chance of the game about four minutes in.

After some good play from both teams, Drake Batherson put the Sens on the board first after picking up a rebound off a beautiful shot from Stützle. Those two are just amazing together. 1-0 Ottawa.

The Sens doubled their lead only a few minutes later. Erik Gudbranson of all people netted his first as an Ottawa Senator with a nice shot from the point. I don’t know where this version of the Sens came from, but I hope it’s here to stay. 2-0 Ottawa.

Also, giving up a goal to Gudbranson? Are the Flames okay?

Fun fact: the Sens scored more goals on this goalie in one period than the Leafs did in two games!

Ottawa did not score again for the rest of the period, but they did look like the better team, and managed to contain the Flames every time they set up in the Sens’ zone. My favourite part of the end of the period was Zub feuding with Matthew Tkachuk.

The first buzzer sounded, and both teams skated off to the sound of the “Sens Sicko Anthem.” Just an absolutely incredible night for the Sens DJ.

The Flames came out swinging for the second period, with some sustained pressure in the Ottawa zone resulting in an early goal for Milan Lucic. 2-1 Ottawa.

The Ottawa Senators of a few weeks ago might have folded after that goal, but not these guys! The Sens fired back only a few minutes later to make the score 3-1. Connor Brown took advantage of a silly mistake from Lucic for a very sicko goal. Connor Brown having finish? Man, the Sens might get another coach fired by the end of this series. 3-1 Ottawa.

Now. Think of how well this game was going. Picture the one thing that could possibly make it any better. Yes, it happened.

That’s right. There was a Robillard Hearing Centres commercial shortly after the Connor Brown goal.

We had officially been blessed by Queen Julia.

Immediately after the commercial, Brännström shot the puck down the ice and the Flames’ goaltender fumbled it so badly that it somehow went into the net. That’s Brännström’s second NHL goal, and his second in two games, for anyone keeping track. 4-1 Ottawa.

I guess hearing really is believing.

Oh, also? SICKO MODE is the new goal song. Yes, Sens Twitter runs this team now, and we’re doing a better job than the guys who are paid to do it.

The Flames opted for a goaltending change about halfway through the period, putting in Artyom Zagidulin for his first NHL game. This means that the Sens have gone from facing only backups to forcing teams to change their goalies, all in a matter of days, which is a nice change.

The game looked relatively even and very exciting from then on. The Sens looked worlds better than they did at the beginning of the season. Neither team scored again, so Ottawa headed into the second intermission ahead 4-1.

I don’t know if this game was a fever dream or something, but during the intermission, they interviewed Brandon Bochenski. Already funny, but especially so when you remember that the inventor of the Sens Sicko is Twitter user @brochenski. What a night, man. What a night.

Recent history would lead us to believe that the Sens were probably going to collapse in the third, but that just didn’t happen. Instead, they kept the momentum going.

In fact, Colin White extended Ottawa’s lead to 5-1 about 5 minutes into the period. He scored a goal that, let’s be honest, absolutely should not have gone in. But considering how many awful goals the Sens gave up early in the season, I feel like they deserved that one. 5-1 Ottawa.

5-1 is a pretty precarious lead, though, isn’t it? Any respectable team would mount a comeback here. Surely the Flames were about to win. If the 2021 Ottawa Senators can do it, I can assure you that anyone can.

Calgary (and Matthew Tkachuk in particular) did get a few good looks at the net during the third period, but Matt Murary stood tall, and the Sens continued to play like an actual good hockey team. They were very obviously the better team for the rest of the game.

With just over five minutes left in the game, Chabot sent the puck to Colin White, who buried his second of the game. 6-1 Ottawa.

The score held, and Ottawa extended their winning streak to 3 games.

Notable performances:

  • Shoutout to Artem Zub for handling Matthew Tkachuk with the poise of someone too well accustomed to Tkachuk antics. He was a solid presence on defense throughout this game.
  • Batherson and Stützle looked amazing together. I can’t believe Timmy didn’t score in this game.
  • Colin White continued to look good, netting two goals right at the end of the game.
  • I’m including Brady Tkachuk in this list for no reason other than that his team completely destroyed his brother’s team. I hope he’s having a nice night at Mark Stone’s house.

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