Tonight, we had the pleasure to watch two struggling teams go head to head, battling for a much needed two points. On one side, you have the Vancouver Canucks who completely stumbled out of the gate, entering tonight’s game with a rough 3-6-3 record. On the other side, the Ottawa Senators are currently on a five game losing streak after a strong opening to the season.
On a fun note, potential future partial owner Ryan Reynolds was at the Canadian Tire Centre tonight to take in the game. Clearly, somebody told the Sens because Drake Batherson got the party started just 50 seconds into this one.
With a minute left in the period, Bo Horvat brought the game to a tie off a rebound. On the very next shift, however, Travis Hamonic regained Ottawa’s lead with an absolute rocket from the blueline.
During the first period, Ottawa sizeably outshot and outplayed the Canucks, successfully killed a penalty and went into the first intermission with the lead. While the bar has been set very low, this was easily Ottawa’s best first period since their last win.
The second period started much like the first with Ottawa setting the pace and maintaining possession of the puck. Five minutes in, the Sens were outshooting the Canucks 6-1 while seeing multiple high danger chances from the line of Batherson, Alex DeBrincat and Derick Brassard. Unfortunately the Sens weren’t able to extend their lead and, instead, ended up letting Vancouver back into the game, as Bo Horvat scored to knot things up at two.
The third period was, once again, very similar. Ottawa started playing well, only to let Vancouver score... twice. With eight minutes left in the game, Ottawa was up on the shot clock 38 to 24 but down on the scoreboard 4-2. With plenty of time left, the Sens had to make a push to attempt to salvage yet another winnable game.
With just over six minutes left, Claude Giroux drew a penalty, giving Ottawa the spark they needed to make a game of this. After Batherson almost netted his second of the game, Tim Stützle broke through the defense and buried one to make this a one goal game.
Moments later, however, multiple defensive mistakes from Thomas Chabot and Erik Brännström led to the Canucks reestablishing their two goal lead with Jack Studnicka making it 5-3.
This one wasn’t over, as Giroux brought the game back within one with a powerplay marker with the net empty.
It didn’t take long for Vancouver to put the nail in the coffin, though, with an empty netter to make the final score 6-4.
- In chances, the Senators absolutely dominated this game with a team 63.04 CF%. The only period in which they didn’t dominate, however, was the most crucial as they let the Canucks back into the game in the final frame.
- Cam Talbot posted a 0.815 SV%. While Vancouver’s fifth goal could be laid at the feet of Chabot and Brännström’s defensive flaws, that was a shot that needed to be stopped and Talbot let it squeak through.
- Alex DeBrincat had a pair of assists while Tim Stützle joined him in the multi-point night category with a goal and an assist of his own.
- Jacob Bernard-Docker registered an assist and over 17 minutes of ice time in his season debut. He looked solid throughout the game and, objectively, should continue to be given playing time in Ottawa given how things have been going so far.
- Mathieu Joseph and Tyler Motte were the only Senators to post negative corsi stats during this game, with their centre Shane Pinto being flat even at 5v5.