We may have gotten a little bit overconfident with those playoff aspirations.
The Sens have crashed back to Earth, with two disappointing showings in a row just as it looked like they were finally in the playoff race. If you missed this game, don’t worry about it: nobody played particularly well, and it was probably the most boring game of the season.
It was all Ottawa to start the game, with all four lines and all three defense pairings absolutely rolling. Juuse Saros had to stand on his head to keep the Sens at bay, and unfortunately for us he pulled it off with ease.
A weird call on Giroux stopped that momentum in its tracks, but thankfully after a strong penalty kill the Sens got right back to it, and got the make-up call in no time.
Unfortunately, Ottawa didn’t score on the powerplay, and though they continued to look like the better team, a series of mistakes led to two quick goals for Nashville. The score was 2-0 Nashville before we could even process the fact that the Sens weren’t winning.
Captain Brady Tkachuk responded in a big way only moments later, as he tends to do, getting to the net to finally beat Saros. However, the play was very clearly offside, and soon overturned. Matt Duchene continues to curse the Ottawa Senators.
Brady Tkachuk scores… but it’s ruled offside. I have never seen a team stand in their own way so often. pic.twitter.com/coWFweIBjO— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) January 10, 2023
Ottawa ended the period on a strong note, but unfortunately the score held, mostly because of Juuse Saros.
Nashville took to the ice with blazing speed in the second period, and naturally it was Matt Duchene who beat Talbot to extend the Predators’ lead. However, Duchene got a taste of his own medicine, as DJ Smith challenged the goal and it was determined to have been offside. Oh, how the tables turn.
The second period dragged like you would not believe. Maybe the Sens got worse, or maybe the Predators got better, but whatever it was, the Sens were not dominating play anymore. Each team killed off a penalty and got a few good chances, but no more goals were scored. Despite no change in the score, there was certainly a lot less hope going into this intermission. It really felt like the Sens had missed their chance to win it.
The final frame brought more of the same. The Sens got some chances but couldn’t finish them, even on the powerplay. The 2 goal lead felt very safe. Before long, the Predators scored again to make it 3-0 Nashville, for real this time.
Ottawa certainly did get a lot of chances, but not enough considering how well Saros was playing. Nobody seemed able to connect on passes or hit the net. Much like the last one, this game had a distinctly “November” vibe to it.
- It was a rough night for our short king Erik Brännström, who until tonight had been quietly excelling in very limited minutes. Tonight, he was noticeable in a bad way. He was benched for much of the first period after being partly responsible for the first Nashville goal, then continued to turn the puck over seemingly every other shift. The good news is this is no longer the norm with him, so there’s hope he’ll rebound.
- It was a very up and down game for Chabot, who made a lot of the best plays of the game and seemed to have the puck whenever he was on the ice, but also made some pretty egregious mistakes. It was a bad night for everyone.
- Goaltending made the difference in the first period, and thus in the game, but Talbot at least redeemed himself later on. It still wasn’t his night.