Brady Tkachuk's Hat Trick Wins the Game in OT

They almost blew it until they didn't!

Brady Tkachuk's Hat Trick Wins the Game in OT
Photo by Samantha Gades / Unsplash

Coming off two extra-time wins in a row, the Ottawa Senators were hoping they could continue their good fortunes in a matinee match-up vs. the New York Islanders. The Sens were staring down our former hero, JG Pageau, and a coach that could've, might've been behind the Sens bench.

Sens fans maybe came into this game with a whole lot of optimism. At the end of the day, no matter what happened in the game today, it was a good result for us. See, the Detroit Red Wings are fighting for their playoff lives and who are they tied with for that last wildcard spot? You guessed it, today's opponent, the New York Islanders. So, giving them 2 points isn't really a loss in the grand scheme of things. Also, losing gets better draft odds for Ottawa. If they won, then you get to feel good about a win.

The game started on a good note with the Sens demonstrating good jump. It didn't take long for the officiating to ruin all the potential with a very weak and debatable call against Parker Kelly. While the Sens almost survived that kill, a late scramble saw Joonas Korpisalo swimming outside his net and Mathieu Joseph trying in vain to make saves before the puck ended up in the net after an opportunistic wraparound by Matt Martin.

Down by 1 goal shouldn't be that big of a deal but with the Sens, it's sometimes been like pressing some gigantic panic red button where they all just lose the will to continue the game. Maybe that was a bit dramatic but it was frustrating to see them scramble for the majority of the period after allowing just that one goal.

While the Sens scrambled to get their momentum back in the first, the Isles luckily weren't able to take advantage. A turning point took place thanks to a huge save by Korpisalo towards the end of the period that prevented a disastrous 2-0 deficit heading into the second.

The second period started off with a shortened carry-over power play and while that didn't really result in much, it did seem to put some wind in the Sens' sails. In all fairness, the Isles were not putting on an impressive showing either. As an aside, it's hard not to look at this New York team, very much in the play-off picture, and wonder what could have been this season.

The Captain broke the shutout and tied the game with a perfectly executed goal. While Tkachuk cashed in the goods with a great shot, you also have to give credit to Branny and Batherson for the set up.

It seemed like the energy was up for the Sens from that point on but the old ghost of poor goaltending came back to haunt them. After a much improved period, the Sens found themselves yet again down by 1 heading into the intermission when Korpisalo let in a real stinker off the stick of Kyle Palmieri.

This game seemed to be going by quickly (not a bad thing in a lost season) and the Sens mostly continued to play well but by now they were chasing the game; still, one has to appreciate that they weren't folding. Thanks to that persistent effort, they were rewarded:

I mean, how perfect is this? How beautiful! How poetic? It's a tie game and Tim Stützle is on a 5-game point streak. That's a lot of good vibes, should we be worried?

Indeed we shall, a few minutes later, Jake Sanderson landed awkwardly after a hit behind his net. He needed help immediately on what looked like an ankle injury. He headed down the tunnel andt it did not look good. Every Sens fan took in a sharp deep breath as the replays cycled. It seemed serious until the phenom was miraculously back on the ice a mere two shifts or so later. Ok, it's not so bad after all. Or Sanderson is some sort of physical freak.

Handed an opportunity to take the lead on a penalty, surprisingly, it didn't take the Sens long to take advantage! After a quick post, the puck found its way to Tkachuk who was in the perfect position to make it 3-2 with his second goal of the game and another assist Stützle.

Sadly for the Isles, the Red Wings were also leading 3-1 in their own game. Sorry! Kind of!

The Sens did a good job protecting the lead and managed to weather any Isles attempts. It did help that Korpisalo was making the huge saves but with 2 minutes left and the Isles putting up the pressure, the Sens took a penalty of their own. Was it a soft call? Maybe a bit. The optimist's outlook would be an empty net is an opportunity for a potential Tkachuk hat trick, right? RIGHT? Wrong.

The Sens fought it but the 6 on 4 proved to be too much for them as the Isles tied the game with 35 seconds left. A third extra time game in a row? Is Ottawa good at this stuff now?

The overtime was exciting and the Sens seemed to get the bulk of the more dangerous chances. With less than 2 minutes left in overtime, Tim Stützle drew a penalty setting up a chance to end this game. Here we get what we all wanted:


Game Notes:

  • Drake Batherson and his good contract always seem to be the toughest decisions for the Sens. When he's good, he can be a game-changer but his consistency is painful. In the past few games, Batherson has been more of the game-changer type which has helped the offense immensely.
  • Another player who has been making some good waves is Brännström who refuses to let anyone give up on him and has recently been one of the team's best defensemen
  • Goaltending has been an issue for the Sens all season and it had its flaws in today's game but Korpisalo made two huge saves in the first to keep it at 1-0 and many in the third to try and maintain the lead. I don't think the Sens necessarily need shutouts every night but these key saves are what usually make the difference in most games. He finished the game with a .909SV% – good enough!
  • Brady Tkachuk has had his flaws this season but he just scored his 30th goal of the season and took command of this game every time the team needed; this is the leadership we consistently need from Brady.
  • How about that point we gifted the Isles, eh Red Wings?
  • Tim Stützle is up to 63 points on the season with his 3 points in this game – for a "down" season, he still on track for quite a productive campaign

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