Injuries Mount and Senators Fall apart in 5-2 Loss to Bruins

Scott Sabourin Injury Sets Sombre Tone for Difficult Night in Boston

The Senators rolled into Boston HEAVY underdogs despite a lengthy layover since their last game (a home win over San Jose). The Bruins established themselves as the elite team of the Eastern conference in October while the Sens failed to string together consecutive wins.

The Senators showed some rust early in this one, taking an early too-many-men penalty on a sloppy line change. The Bruins wasted no time on the powerplay with David Pastrnak giving Boston the lead less than two minutes after puck-drop. In a refreshing change of approach, DJ Smith sent out his skill line of Brady Tkachuk, Logan Brown, and Anthony Duclair in an attempt to reverse the momentum immediately after that goal against.

The early goings of the game, however, soon declined from bad to worse. Still early in the first period, Scott Sabourin collided awkwardly with David Backes on a hit near the boards and Sabourin immediately appeared seriously injured. He received extensive attention from the team’s medical staff as deafening silence fell over the arena. Medical staff stretchered Sabourin off the ice. The Senators have since reported that paramedics transported Sabourin to a local hospital and that he regained consciousness. David Backes did not return to the ice after the collision.

After a lacklustre powerplay by the Senators eight minutes into the period, Ottawa started to show signs of life at five-on-five. After snuffing out a Boston rush, Duclair and Tkachuk got off to the races and while they couldn’t close the deal on their first attempt, Logan Brown showed exceptional vision, keeping the play alive and finding Duclair wide open in the danger zone. The Duke made no mistake and tied the game up.

The good times, as we all know, could not last. Two shifts later, Logan left the game with an apparent wrist injury. The Senators have deemed Brown’s removal from the game precautionary. Injuries hit the Senators hard in period one. Despite that, the game looked pretty close after twenty minutes from a statistical standpoint (5on5 shot attempts 15-13 for Ottawa).

Boston’s big line wasted no time in the second frame. They restored the Bruins’ lead two minutes in with Thomas Chabot and Nikita Zaitsev once again taking on the toughest assignments of the night and struggling. DJ Smith again responded to a Boston goal by sending out Brady and the Duke. Tkachuk did his best Mark Stone impression on the one-person forecheck and Ottawa capitalized as Connor Brown came over the boards and buried one from the same location below the goal line where Erik Karlsson buried a bank shot on Henrik Lundqvist in spring 2017.

With the game now tied, Boston took a too-many-men minor of their own and on the ensuing Ottawa powerplay things started to get chippy. Ottawa started this five on four with a good flurry when Nick Paul got hooked and gave the Senators a two-man advantage. After the whistle, Brad Marchand speared Dylan DeMelo and this resulted in an extended six-minute powerplay for Ottawa. The Senators couldn’t convert. However, they looked remarkably better than early in the first. Tuuka Rask robbed Tyler Ennis multiple times. Sadly, Ottawa needed a player like Logan Brown the most on this powerplay. Duclair Tkachuk, and Nick Paul all used their speed and tenacity to no avail. The Sens evidently lacked that pivot with the vision to find open seams in front of Rask.

The period played out with teams trading penalties and fatigue starting to show for the Senators depleted roster. Mark Borowiecki looked especially undisciplined with three minors on the night. (Although to his credit he led the team with two points). The penalty killers stole the spotlight for the remainder of the second.

Early in the third it looked like the injury bug had its eyes on the Senators again as Filip Chlapik took some friendly fire to the wrist. He stayed in the game, however. Ottawa continued to apply pressure for the first five minutes with Nick Paul and Connor Brown showing some chemistry. A broken play and some busted coverage led to another goal against soon after, though, and with Boro in the box, the Bruins struck once more. Boston added another five on five goal with fewer than five to play and the Sens faded away.

Game Notes

  • Despite how lop-sided this match-up appeared on paper, the rivalry seems alive and well between these two teams. Brady Tkachuk continues to make friends and the Senators continue to skate circles around the ghost of Zdeno Chara when he takes the ice.
  • The kids really did look alright in this one. I like Brannstrom’s patience and his use of the stretch pass. He knows other teams will target him because of his size and he uses his skating and his vision to stay out of their crosshairs. Brannstrom, along with Chlapik and Logan Brown (prior to injury), saw time on the powerplay. Nick Paul received heavy defensive deployment from the coach and performed admirably. Even JC Beaudin had moments in the offensive zone that looked threatening.
  • Showing a complete lack of rispeck, the Bruins started an actual first-string goalie against the Senators. Although, in all fairness, poor special teams and a short bench ultimately cost Ottawa this game.
  • Next up, the Senators have a Monday match up at Mad Garden with the New York Rangers on Monday the 4th at 7:00./

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