The Ottawa Senators found themselves in a familiar position on Tuesday night: coming off a strong effort in the game prior and looking to finally get back above the .500 mark. On the other side of the ice was an opponent going through their own struggles. With a record of 4-5-1 in their last ten and an abysmal road record of 6-10-0 on the year, the Hurricanes came in looking to cause a storm.
The first period started just like the last game ended, with the Senators playing physical, solid hockey against a strong opponent. Josh Norris got the good guys on the board first, looking a bit like his former self.
Late in the first period, the Hurricanes got to work on the powerplay to even things up heading into intermission. This was the first of many excellent performances by Carolina's special teams, as both their powerplay and penalty kill were clearly superior in this one.
The second period woes the Sens have been trying to shake of late returned, and they returned in a big way, when Ottawa allowed Carolina to score two goals in the span of less than 90 seconds. Another tally close to the end of the frame gave Carolina a 4-1 win after 40 minutes.
In the third period the Senators had an opportunity to jump-start a comeback with an early powerplay. Alas, they opted to go over ten minutes without a shot on goal instead. Not the choice I would have made!
The team came to life about halfway through the period, with a flurry of chances including a Brady Tkachuk one timer and a Drake Batherson breakaway, but they were unsuccessful in getting the comeback started.
With just under five minutes left, things got interesting as the officials gave Brady Tkachuk a penalty shot when Kochetkov was disciplined for "throwing his stick". Then.. things got even more interesting.
The Tkaptain was eventually escorted to the room with a ten minute misconduct.
The remainder of the period saw a chance here and an opportunity there, but Ottawa couldn't find the back of the net. The game never really seemed in reach after the mid-point.
Back under .500 they go.
- Second periods, man.
- This was the kind of game where if someone said Joonas Korpisalo played poorly, it would be well warranted to "watch the game". While his save percentage may not have been sparkling, Korpisalo is the only reason this game was only 1-1 after twenty minutes of play. He made a number of ten bell saves and the two he allowed on the powerplay in the second period were completely out of his control.
- Josh Norris got on the board again tonight, giving him two goals and an assist in his last four games. The centre has looked a little more like his old self lately, which is an encouraging sign.
- In December, Claude Giroux has been lights out. His assist tonight brings him to four goals and three assists through seven games this month.
- Prior to getting ejected, Brady Tkachuk had fired seven shots on net and was 100% when he was featured on faceoffs.
- Giroux, Tkachuk and Norris were the only three skaters to finish the game with a positive corsi. Tim Stützle was exactly even.
- The Hurricanes were a perfect two-for-two on the powerplay while Ottawa was unsuccessful on each of their four attempts.
- Ridly Greig took three penalties, a couple of which reflected some questionable decision-making on his part. He has to be more disciplined if he's going to earn bigger minutes for this club.
- After I went on Twitter the other day and praised the fourth line of Parker Kelly, Rourke Chartier and Jiri Smejkal, they got absolutely demolished at even strength tonight. Nothing of note happened for the Sens while they were out there while Carolina had a ton of chances. Woof.