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Batherson, Stützle Leads Sens Past Devils

An incredible offensive performance from Ottawa’s top players saw the Sens defeat the Devils in overtime.

New Jersey Devils v Ottawa Senators Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

The Ottawa Senators welcomed the New Jersey Devils to the Canadian Tire Centre for their second last home game of the season tonight.

Following the pattern of last year, the Sens have been playing some of their best hockey down the stretch when the games no longer matter. With Mark Kastelic and Scott Sabourin back up with the big club after helping Belleville secure their playoff spot on Sunday, the Sens turned back to Anton Forsberg once again to try to grab another two points as the season dwindles.

Recently recognized hot player Thomas Chabot kicked off the scoring with a powerplay marker right at the end of the first frame. Brady Tkachuk and Tim Stützle got the assists, which were the 34th of the season for both of them.

With a 1-0 lead heading into the first, it was important for Ottawa to keep the momentum going into the second frame - and they did just that. Just 11 seconds in, Drake Batherson scored his 16th of the season, thanks in part to a ferocious forecheck by the captain.

Unfortunately for Ottawa, they wouldn’t hold the lead for long, as Nolan Foote scored his first of the year halfway through the second period.

The good news for you Sens fans out there is that Ottawa has this Tim Stützle fellow, who is mighty talented. The young German buried his 21st of the season, on the powerplay, with the assist going to... you guessed it... Brady Tkachuk.

The Devils did their best Sens impression and scored right before the buzzer sounded to end the second period, bringing the score to 3-2.

Early in the third, while on the penalty kill, Stützle did what he does best and used his speed to find himself in alone on Blackwood. With a backchecker on his tail, Stützle scored his 22nd of the year on the backhand to re-establish Ottawa’s two goal lead.

It wasn’t long after Stützle’s shorthanded goal that the Devils would score back to back markers to make it a tie game with just ten minutes left.

Late in the third saw Ottawa get another powerplay. The team didn’t capitalize in regulation but would get the opportunity to start overtime with the extra attacker. Head Coach DJ Smith opted to start overtime with the exact four forwards we were all hoping to see.

Early in the extra period, Stützle and Tkachuk found themselves on a 2-on-1 but you could tell from the moment they started out that Stützle was going to make the pass - and we all wanted him to for that sweet 30th of the year for Captain Tkachuk. Unfortunately they were unsuccessful and time ran out on the powerplay.

Late in overtime, Drake Batherson got himself the game winner and it was... just look.

  • Overall, the Senators got outshot and outchanced yet still pulled off a gutsy win in front of the home crowd. While playoffs would’ve been nice, I’m happy to watch exciting games with a sprinkle of drama.

Game Notes

  • Another busy night for Anton Forsberg, another win. The Swedish netminder keeps making look Pierre Dorion look smarter and smarter since he signed that extension. Forsberg faced 41 shots, posting a 0.902 SV% in the victory.
  • The Captain was up to no good tonight, securing three primary assists and getting him his 100th assist of his career. I was hoping he’d cap off the night with his 30th goal of the year, in overtime, to take it home at home... alas, he wasn’t down for my Disney sports movie storyline.
  • Tim Stützle scored a pair of goals and an assist tonight, bringing him to 22 on the year. He, once again, was excellent all over the ice, making a difference on every shift.
  • Drake Batherson, like his pal Tim, also had a pair of goals including.. you know the one. I’m still thinking about it.
  • On the fancy side of things, the third line of Parker Kelly, Dylan Gambrell and Austin Watson played really well tonight. They threw pucks at the net, made few big errors, and were all positive corsi players. Overall, not a bad night for three players all likely playing higher in the lineup than an average night in their careers.

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