In hindsight, we should have predicted this outcome.
An afternoon game on the second half of a back-to-back, facing probably the best team they’ve played all month? With a former Sens goalie in the other net? The winning streak was coming to an end.
It was another tough start for Ottawa, as despite getting a couple of good chances early on, they spent much of the first half of the period hemmed in their own zone. It came as no surprise when Kaprisov got the first goal of the game. 1-0 Minnesota.
A penalty to Brady Tkachuk soon sent the Wild to the powerplay, but the Sens’ penalty kill kept up its great work, keeping the game from getting too far out of reach. Minnesota continued to dominate the first frame, although the Sens showed just enough energy to give us all a bit of hope that they might eventually be able to come back.
That comeback did not come after all. The second period brought more of the same, as Minnesota skated circles around an exhausted Senators squad. An early goal from Zuccarello doubled their lead. 2-0 Minnesota.
The Sens’ got a chance to get back into the game with their first powerplay of the afternoon. Despite a fantastic shot by Alex DeBrincat from his knees, the powerplay came up short - a rare occurrence these days. In fact, not only did the Sens not score on the man advantage, but they also gave up a goal immediately after it expired. Just one of those games. 3-0 Minnesota.
The game almost went from bad to worse when Sanderson briefly skated off with an apparent hand injury. However, he was back in the game in no time, so it looks like that crisis was averted.
That powerplay was probably the only truly watchable part of the entire period. The Wild continued to dominate play. The game had been a write-off pretty much from the start, and the team was certainly not giving us any reason to want to keep watching.
Another powerplay late in the frame gave us another 2 watchable minutes of play, but former Sens goalie Filip Gustavsson shut the door, turning away some fantastic Sens chances. Ottawa trailed by three heading into the final 40 minutes.
To their credit, the Sens did get most of the good chances in the third period, and seemed to have possession more than the Wild did. Their hard work finally paid off when a shot from the point by Hamonic was tipped into the net by Mark Kastelic to finish off a great shift from the third line and break the shutout. 3-1 Minnesota.
Another fantastic Sens powerplay followed, and I truly have no idea how they managed not to score on that one. The Sens played a pretty bad game overall, but Gustavsson does deserve some credit for keeping the lead safe when he needed to.
After killing off a too many men penalty, the Sens continued to put pressure on the Wild, putting together a truly excellent end to a bad game. With just over a minute and a half left in the game and the extra attacker on the ice, Giroux scored off a great feed from Brady Tkachuk to bring the game truly within reach. Were we about to witness the most unlikely comeback of this Sens season? 3-2 Minnesota.
No, as it turns out.
Giroux’s goal was too little, too late, as Minnesota stopped the comeback in its tracks with an empty-netter. 4-2 Minnesota.
A “burn the tapes” type of game for the Sens, but at least they made things interesting toward the end.
- DeBrincat’s point streak came to an end, but he still had a fantastic game. He was robbed twice. Would’ve been nice to see him score on his birthday, but I guess the hockey gods had other plans.
- Austin Watson was directly at fault for a too many men on the ice penalty for the second game in a row. It’s a terrible penalty to take, and there should be more accountability for a veteran like him making those types of mistakes.