While Daniel Alfredsson and his family were walking the red carpet in Toronto, the Ottawa Senators were getting down to business in Kanata, hosting the New York Islanders for yet another game where “must win” has to be in the back of your mind.
It wouldn’t be a Sens game, of course, without some incredibly questionable officiating and tonight was no different. Austin Watson was called for an illegal check in the first period, which was definitely a penalty, and it led to the Islanders opening the scoring. The problem is, this call happened shortly after this hit on Shane Pinto which was, somehow, some way, not called.
Shane Pinto called to the dressing room after the hit from Alex Romanov. #Sens #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/lPsB3YXAOF— Pesky Sickos (@PeskySickos) November 14, 2022
While Ottawa took a 1-0 deficit into the first intermission, the team was dominant at even strength during the opening frame, with a 67.5 CF% to their name.
Early in the second, the Sens clapped back with a powerplay marker courtesy of Drake Batherson - and it was a laser beam.
DRAKE BATHERSON SCORES!!!! #Sens capitalize on the 5-on-3 here as a pass from Tim Stützle is buried by Batherson.— Pesky Sickos (@PeskySickos) November 14, 2022
1-1 game. #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/OXvigbXaOa
Throughout the remainder of the second, the Sens once again carried much of the play. Matching the theme of the season, however, they found themselves once again trailing despite playing well. After wasting away a few powerplay opportunities, the Sens surrendered the go-ahead goal as Noah Dobson’s shot made its way through traffic and behind Cam Talbot to make it 2-1 heading into the second intermission.
Halfway through the final period, Mathieu Joseph found himself in the penalty box and former Senator Jean Gabriel Pageau made him pay the price, with a backhand goal that beat Talbot on the blocker side.
The Sens weren’t done yet, though, as the captain.. well.. you know what, just watch it.
Brady with a silky backhand pass and Giroux buries it! #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/R3jsIvcVKj— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) November 15, 2022
Unfortunately, for what felt like the infinite time of the season, the Sens allowed an empty net goal and dropped this one 4-2.
- With Thomas Chabot and Artem Zub out, the Sens’ biggest problems tonight were, surprisingly, not caused by their blueline. Jake Sanderson stepped up to the task, leading the team in minutes and playing well throughout the game. The pairing of Erik Brännström and Jacob Bernard-Docker were solid, as well.
- Once again, the Sens played incredibly well but couldn’t secure any points. They beat the Islanders in almost every category but failed to beat them in the final score. Something’s gotta give.
- Cam Talbot posted a respectable 0.912 SV% and, of the three goals he allowed, you could really only ask him to be better on one of them. He played well and gave the Sens every chance to win this game.
- The top line of Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stützle and Claude Giroux was firing on all cylinders tonight, heavily outshooting and outplaying whatever line the Islanders put out against them.
- In his first game with Ottawa, Jacob Larsson quietly turned in a solid performance in limited minutes. In just over 10 even strength minutes, Larsson posted a solid 76.19 CF% playing mostly with Nick Holden.
- Every single forward line posted a combined positive CF%, with the top trio leading the way.