After a thrilling match-up against their Ontario nemesis, the Senators traveled to Seattle to face the Kraken in their new home for the first time since they entered the league. Zach Senyshyn was making his debut for the Sens tonight and his first period intermission interview was just a burst of excitement; the type of joy we’ve fortunately becomes accustomed to seeing from this young squad.
Anton Forsberg was playing his 99th career game and the Sens were looking to him again to start this road trip on a good foot. The first period proved to be a crucial one for Forsberg to shine as the Sens had one of their slowest starts to a game in a while. There was barely any life in the team and it seemed like just a series of avoidable mistakes.
Ottawa started off the game with a 4-minute penalty kill after Parker Kelly high-sticked Vince Dunn. The infraction translated into the opening goal from Daniel Sprong. To make matters worse, the goal was a few seconds shy from the 2-mintue mark which meant the Krakens would remain on the power play for another 2 minutes. The Sens survived the remaining power play but the next penalty taken by Travis Hamonic. So while Forsberg’s heroics kept the score at 1-0, the Sens were just struggling to find their feet in this game.
With 6 minutes left in the frame and heavily out-shot, the Sens managed a power play chance to even things out. A great chance by Tkachuk right in front of the net was the highlight of a power play that otherwise accomplished nothing.
The first period wasn’t all bad as Tim Stützle gave us a little showcase of his dazzling moves.
Tim Stützle is making a mockery of the Kraken with these cut back moves pic.twitter.com/4QbO5Utbv9— Lalime's Martian (@LalimesMartian) April 19, 2022
The Sens were hoping to carry the momentum they started to build at the end of the first period into the second and it didn’t take long as none other than Captain Tkachuk jammed the net on a well battled play with Connor Brown. Game tied at 1.
Less than 5 minutes into the period and the Sens were already seemingly a completely different team. Just a few minutes after Tkachuk’s tying goal, another crowd in front of the net complements of Austin Watson allowed Nick Holden to score his 5th of the season to give the Sens a 2-1 lead. The whole team enjoyed that goal, including coach DJ Smith who looked like he was having a blast celebrating with Holden on the bench.
The Kraken were quick to answer back as they battled hard in the Sens zone but as with the first period, Forsberg was having none of it. It’s saves like these that often ensure the Sens have a chance.
The game settled down after the Holden tally but just past the halfway mark, a series of mistakes and unfortunate events saw the Kraken take advantage of a loose puck and tie the game against a visibly frustrated Forsberg.
The rest of the period seemingly slowed to a crawl, but the Sens were also getting sloppy. With less than 4 minutes left in the middle stanza, a careless turnover from Holden eventually ended up on Victor Rask’s stick whose shot hit Forsberg’s chest and snuckunder his arm to make it 3-2 Seattle.
A much better period for the Sens was ending on a very wrong note. Frustrations mounted when Formenton was hit from the back and retaliated with a charge, which started a whole scrum featuring Formenton, Stützle and Fleury. The Kraken came out of the whole kerfuffle with a power play, a kill the Sens needed to make to ensure they don’t start the third with a deeper hole than they were already in.
The Sens continued to play reckless as Watson took an unnecessary extra shot after a whistle and found himself in the box right at the end of the first penalty. Sloppy and undisciplined, the Sens ended the period down by one and would be starting the third on the penalty kill once again.
The Senators started off the third on the penalty kill and managed to do a good job with it. With 8 seconds left on the kill Jordan Eberle hooked Holden to give the Sens a power play to start off the third. Unfortunately, the Kraken did a fantastic job completely suffocating any chances by the Sens.
The two teams kept the game tight in the third and while the Sens were trying to battle back for that tying goal, they didn’t look exceptionally dangerous. Nothing was connecting for the Sens and they just kept slowing down. With 6 minutes left, Tkachuk had a toughgiveaway. Brännström lost a scrambled battle to Yanni Gourde on a desperate backcheck, who got the puck to Karson Kuhlman to give the Kraken a 4-2 lead. However, Smith immediately (initially confusingly) challenged the play. In a shocking, and needed, turn of events Smith’s challenge is accepted as it was determined that Gourde touched the puck with a high stick before it got to Kuhlman. A lucky break for the Sens and some great work by the video coaching staff for catching the high stick.
With 5 minutes left and out-shot 28-12, the Sens had to dig deep to tie this game up after a less than stellar third period. Ottawa mounted some good pressure but nothing was going for them. Forsberg wasn’t able to go to the bench until the game was at the 1:24 mark and it didn’t take long for the Kraken to take advantage and score the empty netter.
All told, the Sens deserved to lose this game, and it was a disappointing showing by the majority of the team. Credit should be awarded to Forsberg, Tkachuk, Holden and Formenton who actually showed up to the entire game.
The Sens are back at it tomorrow night for another late on against the Vancouver Canucks.