clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Brady Tkachuk Propels Senators to Electrifying 3-2 Comeback Win Over Rangers

The captain was the star of the show, with 2 goals and a Gordie Howe hat trick in his 300th NHL game

Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

We needed that.

The Sens needed it. But the fans needed it too.

I’m not just talking about the 2 points in the standings. I’m not sure those are important anymore. I mean the way that win happened - the way the Sens finally broke some of their most annoying habits and showed us that maybe the “Pesky Sens” haven’t been completely forgotten.

It felt fitting that the leaders - the co-captains - the two players who have been around since the start of this rebuild - would be the ones to make the comeback happen. And it’s entirely unsurprising that Brady Tkachuk pulled this off on his 300th NHL game.

What a game.

First Period

The game had only just begun when the Sens were given a perfect opportunity to start things off right: a four-minute powerplay after Jake Sanderson got high-sticked. Of course, being the Sens, they did nothing with this opportunity, with only one shot and two good scoring chances despite some good puck movement.

A return to even strength brought some good chances for the Rangers, who controlled the play for most of the period.

Sure enough, New York got on the board first about halfway through the first frame. More importantly, though, Hamonic suffered what looked like a very scary injury on the play, as a shot seemed to hit him in the throat. He was lying on the ice when the goal was scored, resulting in some controversy about whether or not the play should have been blown dead. He went straight to the dressing room and it seemed likely he’d miss the rest of the game, but did end up returning later on. 1-0 New York.

The Rangers continued to control the play for a bit, but Ottawa eventually pulled themselves together, buoyed by an especially strong shift by the third line that almost tied the game.

The first line was incredibly dominant toward the end of the frame, nearly scoring before the Rangers’ swept the puck right off the goal line. Tim Stützle did some great work all on his own, but couldn’t tie the game. At least they were starting to look like the better team.

Second Period

The Sens carried that momentum into the second period, which they dominated pretty much from start to finish. Hamonic also returned to the ice, which was a big relief after how scary that injury looked.

Even a Rangers powerplay didn’t stop the Sens, as Tyler Motte got a great look at the net while shorthanded. Ottawa just kept putting pressure on the Rangers, and it was reaching the point where it was starting to feel ridiculous that they hadn’t scored yet.

It was Giroux who finally broke through for Ottawa, but unfortunately the goal was called back because it was offside. You can’t make this stuff up.

Thankfully, Stützle answered before we could get too mad about it, with a nice powerplay goal that tied the game at 1.

Clearly, the captain was extremely fired up after those two goals - one of which actually counted - as he decided to fight the other captain at centre ice. He had a fun night!

Ottawa played so well for the rest of the period that you could almost forget they were tied and not leading. But surely their inability to score during this extended period of dominance won’t come back to bite them later!

Third Period

Spoiler alert: it came back to bite them.

The Rangers looked good to start the third. They clearly weren’t going to let the Sens keep this going, and Ottawa was playing like they knew they’d wasted their chance to win. The hockey gods finally smiled down on the Senators as the puck somehow stayed out of their net during a Rangers powerplay, but it didn’t take long for Former Senator Mika Zibanejad to take back the lead for the Rangers. 2-1 New York.

Strangely, this goal also coincided with an injury to a Sens defenseman, as Zub took a puck to the face and was lying on the ice when the Rangers scored. He was back on the bench in no time, but it was still weird. I guess injuring people is just the only way the Rangers can manage to score.

In typical Sens fashion, they picked themselves up once they were trailing and not tied. Motte kind of scored, but it was one of those goals where the puck was under the goalie’s pad and got pushed into the net and the refs decided the play was dead as soon as the puck got under the pad. The decision didn’t make total sense, and was especially frustrating given that the Sens had had lots of other chances in this game including another disallowed goal.

Now, for anyone who has been watching the Sens over the last few seasons, this is the point in the game where the dread, the disappointment, maybe even the anger, starts to set in. At ten minutes left in the game, maybe there’s still a bit of hope. Maybe you can envision a tying goal. But once the minutes on the clock start creeping into the single-digits, it starts to feel too familiar. Five minutes left, and you start tuning out. Three minutes, and the fourth line is out for a defensive zone faceoff? Come on. They’re not tying it. The goalie skates to the bench, and you might as well turn off the TV.

Unless?

With possession in the offensive zone, the extra skater out, and less than a minute left to get the equalizer, Thomas Chabot kept the puck in the zone and fired it toward the net, where it was tipped by none other than captain Brady Tkachuk, who registered his 100th NHL goal in his 300th NHL game. Couldn’t have scripted it better. 2-2.

Overtime was thrilling, as expected. The Sens’ top players were clearly exhausted, but put together some good chances. Mika Zibanejad ended up on a breakaway, but was turned away by Cam Talbot. I knew that one wasn’t going in because there wasn’t a Sens defenseman writhing around in pain on the ice.

Eventually, we got the storybook finish, with Chabot springing Brady on a breakout, and the captain outmuscling his guy to finish the game off with an electrifying overtime winner. 3-2 Ottawa.

A great night for the narratives.

Notable Performances

  • What a game from Brady Tkachuk. I don’t even know what else there is to say at this point. He is so good. I think I would run through a wall for him.
  • Chabot also had a great game, with the lone assist on each of those last two goals.
  • Tyler Motte had one of the best games I’ve ever seen him play. Kind of ridiculous that he didn’t get on the scoresheet.

Gameflow

Heatmap