After ending their winning streak with a 6-3 loss to Calgary on Saturday afternoon, the Senators came into this game knowing they had to bring their best effort - after all, when you’re a rebuilding team, you can’t afford to take the night off.
The game started off relatively slowly. Each team exchanged an ultimately unsuccessful powerplay opportunity and the two headed into their respective rooms for the first intermission knotted at zero.
One of the more exciting plays of the period was a misplay - where Nikita Zaitsev lobbed a pass to Thomas Chabot which took a funny bounce and ended up giving the Flames this grade A chance towards the end of the frame.
At even strength, Brady Tkachuk was Ottawa’s star of the first frame, seeing eight shot attempts for with only one against - good for 88.89 CF%. Chabot, Drake Batherson, Nikita Zaitsev, Chris Tierney and Austin Watson also looked great in this regard. On the other end of things, the Sens got absolutely caved in with shot attempts with Evgeni Dadonov on the ice (9.09 CF%).
The second frame is where the fun began. Just past the 6 minute mark, Tim Stützle found Artem Anisimov with a drop pass and Anisimov’s shot deflected off a stick and floating past David Rittich.
Just two minutes later, Batherson tied Ottawa’s goal streak record by registering a goal in his sixth straight game with this laserbeam.
Some rough defending from Brayden Coburn and Mike Reilly allowed Calgary to cut the lead in half as Milan Lucic scored his sixth goal of the season.
Batherson, noted amazing hockey player who should have never been considered as a healthy scratch ever, ever, ever, didn’t allow the Sens lead to remain at one for long. Yet another shining example of why goaltenders should never play the puck, Rittich fired a pass out from behind the net, directly onto Batherson’s stick. The pride of Nova Scotia grabbed the puck, spun and shot. With a little help from Mark Giordano’s body, the puck beat Rittich to give the Sens a 3-1 lead, over halfway through the second.
The second period was a notably great period for a number of Senators. On the shot attempts front, Dadonov bounced back from an abysmal first period to respectable numbers through two. Tkachuk remained excellent at even strength while only four Senators - Dadonov, Stützle, Artem Zub and Matthew Peca - were negative in shot attempts through forty minutes. The Sens only allowed six shots on net in the second, while they threw 22 at Rittich. All around, a dominant period for the hometown team.
The third period was much like the first - more toned down in the shots department, with a few penalties successfully killed off by the respective special teams units. Connor Brown had a few impressive shifts, including one which resulted in this great chance on a feed from Chabot.
Halfway through the period, Matt Murray decided he’d seen enough of the kids carrying the play and wanted to be sure people remembered how well he played between the pipes.
With four minutes to go, Colin White put the icing on the cake with an empty netter. On the play, White joined Batherson as a player on a goal streak with tallies in three consecutive games.
But wait! There’s more!
Just moments later, with the Sens cycling in Calgary’s zone, the puck found it’s way to Chabot at the point. The star defender took a step in and unleashed a bullet, deflecting off Dadonov’s stick for Daddy’s seventh of the campaign.
The good guys win 5-1 and are now 6-3-0 in their last 9 games played.
- Matt Murray was almost perfect, stopping 27 of the 28 shots he faced. In the third period, in particular, he made a few stunning saves to maintain Ottawa’s lead. This may have been his most solid, gamechanging start of the season.
- Drake Batherson had the first multi-goal game of his young career, scoring a pair of beauties in the second period. Batherson is the youngest player to have a six game goal streak in Ottawa Senators history. A goal next game would see Batherson having the goal streak title all to himself.
- Brady Tkachuk, despite not registering a point on any of Ottawa’s five goals, was a monster at even strength tonight. Through three periods, he settled in at 66.67 CF% through over 15 minutes of ice 5v5.
- Austin Watson led the Senators in CF% with 68.75 - the Senators had 11 shot attempts with Watson on the ice through almost ten minutes of ice time, registering only five against.
- I don’t remember the last time Nick Paul made a play that legitimately concerned me. His glow up with the puck has been a spectacular light amidst some darkness since the first game of the season. He’s either playing incredibly responsibly or dazzling with little dishes to his linemates.
- Colin White and Evgeni Dadonov, the linemates of the aforemention wizard Nick Paul, both rounded out strong games. White, with his empty netter, officially created a goal streak by scoring in three straight games while Dadonov, recent victim of having a monkey on his back, finally got himself back in the scoresheet with a great deflection. The entire line of White, Dadonov and Paul were solid once again.
- Tim Stützle’s pair of assists brings him to 14 points in 21 games. He’s currently pacing for a 50+ point season (82 games) as a fresh 19 year old. Look out.