Ahead of puck drop, Nikita Zaitsev left warm up early, paving the way for 2018 first round pick Jacob Bernard-Docker to make his NHL debut. With an NHL debut comes, of course, the rookie lap.
Early in this one, Nick Paul got the Senators on the board with his first goal in a very, very long time.
Unfortunately, just a few moments later, the Sens left Mark Scheifele open, completely alone, in front of the net to tap in a great pass from Nikolaj Ehlers to even things up. This was a tough one for Matt Murray to give up in his first game back from injury, mostly because it absolutely wasn’t his fault. He looked solid through the rest of the frame, steering aside 10 shots.
The Jets won the even strength Corsi battle for the first period, out-attempting the Senators 10-7. As a line, Colin White, Evgeni Dadonov and Paul were Ottawa’s most successful trio, with strong underlying numbers and, of course, scoring the Sens lone goal for the period. Bernard-Docker played 5:07 at even strength, good for fourth on the team, running even in chances for and against while he was on the ice.
The Senators had a strong second period, leading the Jets in shots and chances, while Murray was solid. Paul continued his excellent play, leading to this chance:
Ottawa with another solid look. pic.twitter.com/Kbb7smipCx— Alex Metzger (@nhlsensandstuff) April 15, 2021
Through two frames, JBD logged 9:28 at even strength, with understandably no special teams duties.
Early in the third, the Jets were awarded a powerplay on a tripping penalty given to Josh Norris. After sustained pressure, Jets forward Mathieu Perreault was able to take the lid off Murray’s water bottle to give Winnipeg a 2-1 lead. Halfway through the period, the Sens were given an opportunity on the powerplay where they, unfortunately, allowed a shorthanded goal.
Brutal play from Chabot here... Not sure if he thought that puck was going all the way down or what but Lewis blows by him and makes it 3-1. pic.twitter.com/x0UVcJC2Zc— Alex Metzger (@nhlsensandstuff) April 15, 2021
While Chabot may be tired from the length of his shifts and the minutes he played up until this play, he certainly appears to have given up on this play.
The Senators scored a too little, too late goal with 9.4 seconds left with Chabot putting the puck on a tee for Norris who buried his 12th of the season. Norris is tied for third in rookie scoring.
At the end of the day, the Sens played a strong opening 40 but weren’t able to compete for the full 60 minutes, dropping this one 3-2 to the Jets.
- Nick Paul was a monster against the Jets tonight. He scored a goal, breaking his 27 game drought, while being a menace at both ends of the ice. The puck seemed to find him and when it didn’t find him, he stole it.
- The additions of Victor Mete and Erik Brännström on the blueline made for a noticeably smoother transition game. It felt like, more often than not, the Sens were able to properly turn the puck over and then exit their zone. With puck movers like these two, plus Thomas Chabot, playing regular shifts, it’s not a mystery as to why.
- Matt Murray was solid in his return to the Sens lineup. The first goal allowed was a defensive mishap by his teammates, the second was a powerplay opportunity where Perreault had all the time in the world to pick his spot and the third was a lazy play by Chabot giving a Winnipeg penalty killer a breakaway.
- Jacob Bernard-Docker didn’t look out of place in his first NHL game, which is about all you can ask from a young defender. At even strength, he posted an even CF% through over 15 minutes of ice time.