Coyotes Beat Senators 2-1, Dahlin Closer Within Reach
A four point night for Team Tank saw the Sens inch closer to the league’s floor.
In their last eleven games, the Arizona Coyotes are 8-2-1.
In their last five games, the Buffalo Sabres are 3-2-0.
And for Ottawa, their last seven games have seen them go 1-5-1.
Call it tanking, or call it strategizing for the future. With the season gone, and no satisfaction in a win over Arizona like we might have over Toronto or Montreal, this game seemed like a must-lose if the Sens wanted to have the best odds at drafting Rasmus Dahlin.
And lose they did, bringing the last place Coyotes within four standings points of the Sens in a low-scoring 2-1 game.
For what seems like the first time in ages, the Sens managed to snag the first goal of the game and take the early lead. Bobby Ryan fed the puck to Jean-Gabriel Pageau who was waiting in front. Pageau got his stick down and put it past Antti Raanta, to go up 1-0 3:24 into the first.
The Ryan-JGP-Stone line continues to look good as they put the #Sens up 1-0 over the #Yotes pic.twitter.com/Gweb1kDPFe— Alex M (@nhlsensandstuff) March 4, 2018
After the slowest start to a season of his career, Bobby Ryan has been heating up since being put on a line with Mark Stone and Pageau. He has seven points in his last six games, and appears to have more comfort shooting the puck as well. Now let’s cross our fingers he doesn’t get another finger injury.
The Coyotes would get one back before the first buzzer, as a broken defensive play from Erik Karlsson and Thomas Chabot gave room for Oliver Ekman-Larsson to walk in and take a shot. It beat Mike Condon cleanly, bringing the game to a 1-1 tie.
The second period was probably Ottawa’s strongest, putting pressure on Raanta early only to be overpowered by his athleticism. He made a few key stops, as despite facing only 24 shots, he was a crucial player in bringing the two points to Arizona.
The action turned to the other end of the rink, with Brad Richardson protecting the puck behind Ottawa’s net. Pageau covered the left post and Chabot the right, trapping him behind. Little did they realize they left Jordan Martinook alone in front, and Richardson only had to find the seam through Pageau to give him a high-danger shot. That’s exactly what happened, as Martinook’s 2-1 goal would eventually become the game-winner.
The Sens looked dead for the third period, and I can’t really blame considering a) the lack of motivation to win given the circumstances and b) they’d been playing less than 24 hours prior. No goals came from either end, as the Yotes won by a final score of 2-1.
- As already mentioned, Bobby Ryan was back on his game.
- Mark Stone’s assist streak is now up to seven games. That’s an assist streak, folks.
- Pageau seems to have taken a liking to his new role in the top six. His four shots on goal was his most since December 16th (against the Habs, of course).
- He had a few head-scratch worthy moments later on, although I thought Ben Harpur did a decent job tonight. Had three shots on goal and made a couple nice defensive plays.
- Mike Condon wasn’t the problem tonight, although he’s lost six straight since February 1st, with a .903 Sv% in that span.
- Keep the end goal in mind. /
Individual Expected Goals (from MoneyPuck.com)
The road trip through the desert concludes in Dallas, taking on the Stars Monday at 8:30 p.m.