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Ottawa Senators Defeat Calgary Flames, 4-3 in the Shootout

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Beating the Flames AND screwing over the Habs? What a bunch of sickos.

Ottawa Senators v Calgary Flames Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

I never miss, do I?

You might be wondering why I’m the one recapping a West Coast game on a Sunday night. I am, after all, the only Silver Seven writer in the Atlantic time zone, meaning that this game started at 10:30pm for me. Well, if you’ve been reading the recaps on this website this season, you may have noticed that I have a bit of a superpower when it comes to writing recaps. The Sens tend to win when I’m on recap duty. And the writing team really needed a win tonight, because it was Nada’s birthday. I was summoned, and it was my job to manifest a win.

You’re welcome, everyone.

Expectations were not particularly high going into this game, given how the Sens have performed on the West coast this season, but there was some hope! This was their first time facing Calgary after forcing them to change their coach, and of course, the final matchup between the Tkachuk brothers for a little while. It was an entertaining game, and one the Sens deserved to win more decisively than they did. Also, reminder that giving extra points to Calgary is good because it screws over the Habs!

The game started on a good note, with a nice rush from Artem Zub on the first shift of the game. It didn’t amount to anything at all; I just wanted to mention it because it was Zub. Unfortunately, things immediately took a turn for the worse. Brännström went to the box for tripping, and the Flames headed to the power play. The Sens’ penalty kill actually looked pretty good, though, and they managed not to get scored on.

Ottawa almost looked worse once the penalty had expired. They collapsed around their own net, and it didn’t take long for Ryan Dzingel to take the second penalty of the game. I guess he saw how much better the Sens had played on the penalty kill than at 5 on 5 and decided to help them out?

The second penalty kill was only slightly worse than the first, and once again Ottawa immediately collapsed as soon as their guy got back on the ice. That’s now how this is supposed to work!

Despite the two early penalties, the beginning of this game was agonizingly boring. How on earth were we supposed to stay awake for this? The most interesting thing that happened in the first 13 minutes of the game was Julia Robillard making an appearance during a commercial break, although I guess that isn’t saying much.

Inspired by Queen Julia - the only monarch we recognize in this house - Ottawa almost immediately picked up the pace after that commercial. Connor Brown scored a slightly fluky goal to put the Sens ahead 1-0.

Shortly after the goal, the Sens headed to their first powerplay of the game. Everything was looking up! Ottawa’s first unit looked phenomenal - as it usually does these days - but unfortunately the powerplay was short lived, as Thomas Chabot soon went to the box.

But that didn’t kill the momentum at all! At 4 on 4, Chris Tierney fed Ryan Dzingel for his second goal in two games. 2-0 Ottawa.

Some may attribute Ottawa’s sudden success to me writing the recap, but this was all Julia. She appears, and suddenly the Sens start clicking? No way it’s a coincidence.

Also, this:

Ottawa got another powerplay right at the end of the first frame. They didn’t score, but they ended the period with a healthy 2-0 lead over an absolutely lifeless Flames team.

Ottawa didn’t score during the second half of the penalty, either, though the second period did get off to an exciting start, with Austin Watson getting into a fight. The Flames definitely looked better to start the frame, shattering the illusion that the Sens were good at defense.

Sure enough, Calgary soon cut the Sens’ lead in half. Bad defense and bad goaltending teamed up, and Giordano’s shot found its way to the back of the Ottawa net. 2-1 Ottawa.

The Flames did not relent after that. Neither did the Sens, though. Was the hockey good? Not exactly. But it was a whole lot more fun than whatever was happening at the start of the game.

Colin White soon put the Sens ahead 3-1 during a scramble in front of the net. That’s 5 goals in 6 games for him, for anyone counting. Tkachuk hit the post very soon after the goal, and the Sens’ momentum just kept going. They looked like they were on a powerplay several times during the second half of the frame.

Right at the end of the period, Thomas Chabot fell down and accidentally high-sticked a Calgary player. He drew blood, too, which meant that it was a four minute double minor. Just terrible luck for Chabot and the Sens on that play.

The penalty kill wasn’t terrible. Tierney got a nice breakaway, and Ottawa held it together for the full four minutes, despite a few scary chances for Calgary. The period ended with a Connor Brown breakaway interrupted by the buzzer. I wonder how that breakaway would have ended otherwise.

Ottawa looked decent to start the third, but unfortunately they had another soft call go against them. Their luck on the penalty kill finally ran out, and the Flames scored their second goal of the game, to once again pull within one goal. 3-2 Ottawa.

The game had barely returned to 5 on 5 when Colin White was sent to the box, and the Flames returned to the powerplay.

They didn’t score with the man advantage, but Calgary looked really good from that point forward. The Sens, for their part, sat back on their heels and didn’t even look like they were trying to extend their lead. It was no surprise when Noah Hanifin tied the game with just under 8 minutes left. 3-3.

At least they got this over with early instead of giving up the goal right at the end of the game?

Ottawa almost took the lead back a few seconds later, but Connor Brown’s shot was blocked right at the last second. I can’t even blame Brown for that one. It was just an epic shot block.

Of course, the refs couldn’t allow Ottawa to have five players on the ice for much longer than that. Their eighth(!) penalty of the game came with just over four minutes left, as Artem Zub got called for interference. Look. Eight penalties is one thing. But a penalty on Zub? I’m calling the police.

Fortunately, the Sens killed the penalty expertly, and played well after it expired. Despite a few good chances for each team, the final buzzer sounded and the game was still tied. It was 1am here in Halifax, and the game was being extended. Nice.

Overtime was eventful. The teams traded chances, and about halfway through, it finally looked like the calls were going Ottawa’s way, when the Flames went to the box for tripping Tim Stützle. Unfortunately, Stützle also got called for diving. He might have sold it a little bit, but really, the Sens deserved a break after how weird the officiating had been all game.

Drake Batherson got the most exciting chance of the overtime, but his shot was stopped by Markstrom. Overtime ultimately solved nothing, and the game headed to a shootout.

Murray stopped the first shot, and Stützle scored an absolute beauty of a goal. Matthew Tkachuk scored on Calgary’s second shot, and Josh Norris failed to score on his. Both teams were stopped on their third chances.

Finally, Matt Murray made a great stop on Calgary’s player, and Drake Batherson gave the Sens the win. I’m disappointed we didn’t see Zub, but I guess this outcome was alright.

Happy birthday, Nada. And happy International Women’s Day to everyone. This recap is what we call women supporting women.

Notable Performances

  • I really loved Zub’s defensive play tonight. DJ Smith put him in the shootout challenge.
  • Colin White has already matched his goal total from last season. He’s looking more and more like an important part of the team’s middle six going forward.
  • The opposite of a notable performance was Erik Brännström, who was benched for large portions of this game. Why? I don’t know, but it was frustrating.
  • Ryan Dzingel is just as good as I remember. A great addition to the bottom six.
  • Drake Batherson still looks incredible and was a huge factor in the win tonight. No surprises there.
  • Chabot did not have a great game.

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