Sunday night at 10:30 pm EST: the perfect time for Ottawa Senators hockey!
The Senators were in Los Angeles tonight to face the Kings as they wrapped up a four-game western road trip. They had lost the first two but beaten the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, giving them a chance to head home an even split on the trip. It was also the exact one-year anniversary of one the funniest things to ever happen in a Senators game, with Brady Tkachuk getting bitten by Brendan Lemieux.
As has been typical with Ottawa this season, they began the game with some jump. That hadn’t always translated to getting the lead first, but it did tonight thanks to Tkachuk. Thomas Chabot barely missed the net from the point, and Tkachuk was in the perfect spot at the side of the net to get the rebound. It was an easy goal that they have rarely gotten this season:
It was a great sign early on, and Ottawa continued the pressure for the rest of the period. They spent a large majority of the period in the Los Angeles Kings’ zone as they out-attempted them 29-18. It almost felt as if they were on the powerplay at times despite nobody going to the box in the first frame.
The second period began in a similar fashion to the first: plenty of scoring chances for the Senators. Nothing encapsulated that more than Tyler Motte’s breakaway opportunity and subsequent scramble in front of Jonathan Quick. It was utter mayhem and should have easily resulted in a goal, but it did not:
Some absolute chaos here as Artem Zub is seen battling in his own crease and loses his helmet, then Tyler Motte ends up on a breakaway to create a chance here the other way. #Sens shortly after take the first penalty in this game. #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/ni86lqJthM— Pesky Sickos (@PeskySickos) November 28, 2022
In the least surprising sequence of events ever, the Kings would go to the powerplay right after thanks to a Motte crosscheck. And yes, you guessed it: Arthur Kaliyev made them pay. Parker Kelly couldn’t clear the puck, which then went to Viktor Arvidsson by the net. Kaliyev was left wide open in the slot and he sniped home a one-timer past Cam Talbot. It was a microcosm of the Senators season thus far—miss a golden opportunity, then blow the lead.
Thankfully they got a chance to negate the previous Kings goal as Kevin Fiala went to the box for roughing. And wouldn’t you know it? Alex DeBrincat actually did the damn thing and put Ottawa back up on top 2-1 just under two minutes later. It was a vintage DeBrincat-style goal with a great pass from Tkachuk in the corner to an open DeBrincat at the left side of the net:
Alex DeBrincat connects on the powerplay! #GoSensGo— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) November 28, 2022
Tkachuk and Stützle assist. This is Tkachuk’s seventh multi-point outing of the season, while Stützle remains on a point-per-game pace. pic.twitter.com/8CpmieFEf5
Ottawa would get another powerplay not long after that and had even more glorious chances from Chabot, Stützle, Tkachuk, Batherson, and DeBrincat. Tkachuk even began to somewhat celebrate what he thought was a goal but Quick got a piece of it. The back and forth would then keep going, as this time it was Travis Hamonic who would cost Ottawa the lead due to his roughing penalty.
It was none other than Kaliyev once again who would knot things up at two before the period ended. It wasn’t a one-timer this time, but for an elite shooter, he still had a bit too much time just above the circles. He shot it top corner on the left side of the net, putting the Kings powerplay 2/2 on the night. In an incredibly familiar story, the Senators were tied 2-2 after 2 periods despite being the better team.
Immediately in the third period, Los Angeles came so close to taking the lead. Talbot had to be ready during some anxious moments, and he was. Jaret Anderson-Dolan would get a clear breakaway later on in the period and once again Talbot stood tall to keep the game at two. Considering that Ottawa outplayed Los Angeles in the first two periods, it was almost expected that the Kings were going to be sharper for the final twenty minutes.
You could tell that the Senators were playing for overtime, as they continued to dump the puck in near the end of the game, which almost cost them as they sat on their heels just to get the one point. Thankfully they made it to overtime, and it didn’t take long for the game to be completed. The puck was briefly stuck behind the Senators net, and for some reason, Claude Giroux was left all alone down the ice while that was happening.
Stützle made the pass all the way down, Giroux made a deke on Quick, and barely snuck it past him to give the Senators their first overtime victory of the season:
It was legitimately the first time this season that the team and the fans could celebrate a game-winning goal like that because none of their previous game-winners had come so late. Despite not completely burying their chances, Ottawa got the job done by being the better team and won their second straight game. They end the west coast road trip with a 2-2-0 record and are 8-12-1 on the season.
- You cannot give Kaliyev any time or space. Six of his eight goals have been on the powerplay, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him score 40+ goals a few times.
- Giroux has had so many clutch goals this season. Whenever they have needed to score, he’s been there. He’s up to 20 points in 21 games and has been worth every penny so far.
- DeBrincat got on the board and once again he could’ve had even more. He was all over the ice and a catalyst for the offense tonight.
- Talbot made some crucial saves tonight, stopping 25/25 at even strength and 1/3 on the powerplay. He didn’t have much of a chance on the two goals anyway and he stopped the ones that needed to be stopped. He owns a .919 SV% in 10 games.
- The Parker Kelly-Mark Kastelic-Austin Watson line had their best game of the season, as they were on for ten shot attempts for and just one against.
- I’m not sure what’s going on, but Shane Pinto continues to look invisible. If they’re going to have any success this season, he needs to be closer to what he was earlier in the season.