Canes Top Sens in a Shootout

The Ottawa Senators took the Carolina Hurricanes to a shootout tonight thanks to big games from Matt Murray, Alex Formenton and Tim Stützle.

The Senators were back in action tonight welcoming the Carolina Hurricanes to the Canadian Tire Centre to wrap up their season series. Last time these two teams met, the Sens grinded their way to a win, a turning point moment for this young group as they went 9-5-2 heading into tonight since that early December victory.

The scoreboard remained unchanged through the first twenty minutes but the ice seemed to tilt slightly in the Hurricanes favour for most of the frame. Despite some illegal action from both teams, only the Canes got to see themselves on the powerplay - twice! - but luckily for Ottawa, Matt Murray came to play. Facing 15 shots, Murray steered aside every one of them to keep the game knotted at one.

Late in the first, more bad bounces came for the Sens in the injury department as Andrei Svechnikov sent Josh Norris into the boards - from a little too far out, for my liking - and the first line centre left the ice. It was announced before the puck drop in the second that Norris sustained an upper body injury and would not be returning to action tonight.

The second period opened up with some scoring. After failing to clear the puck, a wrist shot from the blueline was deflected by Senators legend Derek Stepan to give Carolina an early advantage.

Later in the period, however, Tony DeAngelo gave Sens fans something to be thankful for, as he deflected Nick Paul’s floater past his own goaltender to even things up.

After a very solid period in the second, the Sens went into the third period very much in this game. Just over five minutes in, Ottawa’s momentum finally paid off as Alex Formenton deflected a Victor Mete shot past Frederik Andersen. Yes, that’s three goals on three deflections.

This extended Formenton’s career high point streak to five games. Since the last time these two teams met on December 2nd, Formenton has been a point per game player. Amongst the injuries and scheduling, he’s certainly been a big bright spot for this club.

With just three minutes left in the period, a puck squeaked through Murray and was jammed into the net by Nino Neiderreiter. An unfortunate moment in an otherwise solid performance by Murray. Neiderreiter just beat the whistle to take his team to overtime.

With under a minute left in overtime, Stützle put on a show with a beautiful move to get around Jaccob Slavin, drawing a penalty in the process.

Unfortunately, the game couldn’t be decided playing a game of hockey so the two teams headed to the trick play competition to determine the extra point. The Sens couldn’t solve Andersen while Svechnikov was able to beat Murray and the Sens dropped one to one of the league’s best.

Game Notes

  • Matt Murray turned in another solid performance, despite the tying goal, as the Sens have grabbed points in his last five starts (3-0-2).
  • Egor Sokolov looked like the player I’m used to watching in Belleville but this time he was doing it against one of the best teams in the NHL. He’s got the shot for the NHL and his work below the hash marks was fantastic tonight.
  • Alex Formenton scored again, continuing an impressive run of 16 points in his last 16 games.
  • Without Norris, the Sens had to rely on Stützle to step up into that top line centre slot and he rose to the challenge. The budding star was strong at both ends of the ice, putting his poise and soft hands on display.
  • The bottom six all really brought it tonight, I could use the next six bullet points on them. Chris Tierney, Adam Gaudette and Sokolov were fantastic, getting an organized cycle going and creating chances while the line of Clark Bishop, Nick Paul and Austin Watson also fared quite well at even strength./

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