Joey Daccord Records First NHL Win As Ottawa Senators Defeat Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3
Batherson also had two goals in the game!
The Ottawa Senators needed a win tonight after that awful series against the Oilers, and who better to bounce back against than the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Donning their gorgeous reverse retro jerseys - worlds better than the abominations the Leafs were sporting for this game - the Sens took to home ice for the first time in what felt like forever. Colin White was back in the lineup after a scary injury, the cardboard cutouts were up in the stands, and I was writing the recap. What more could you ask for?
A last-minute injury to Matt Murray threw a wrench in the Sens’ plans for world domination. Daccord drew in, still looking for his first NHL win. Smart hockey people might call this bad news, but the army of Sickos behind the penalty box had other things to say.
The last Sens game started with a goal ten seconds in. This one started with someone running the Sens’ goaltender twenty seconds in. Nice. Thankfully, Daccord was d’accord, and there was no need for Kevin Mandolese to draw in. Other than that, the start of the game was relatively uneventful. Most of the play took place in the Ottawa zone, but each team got a few good looks at the net without managing to get on the board.
Brady Tkachuk got around Jason Spezza and put the Sens up 1-0 about six minutes in, with a classic Brady Tkachuk goal. 1-0 Ottawa.
Taking advantage of turnovers#GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/6CXA5Te7yk— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 14, 2021
The goal song had barely ended when Ryan Dzingel extended the Sens’ lead to 2-0, chasing the Leafs’ goalie before we were even halfway through the first period. You love to see it. 2-0 Ottawa.
First game back at the @CdnTireCtr and Zinger's scoring goals! #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/ZyefZ27dlR— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 14, 2021
The sickos in the crowd were really enjoying that one.
Things only got better from there, when Ottawa went to the powerplay. They didn’t score, but they had clearly taken control of the game by this point, and it was wonderful to see. Leafs r poo, imo.
The Leafs showed a bit of life right after the penalty expired, but Daccord stood tall and the Sens were clearly the better team at this point.
Unfortunately, just as it was looking like this game was Ottawa’s to lose, Toronto scored right off a faceoff to cut the Sens’ lead in half. 2-1 Ottawa.
The rest of the period was fairly even. When the leafs got the puck, they looked dangerous, but the Sens seemed the have a slight edge in possession. Don’t fact check that.
After a great Sens chance ended with Brady Tkachuk just barreling into the net (he’s fine, don’t worry), Ottawa went back to the powerplay and very nearly pulled ahead 3-1. The penalty expired right as the buzzer sounded, and the Sens went into the first intermission ahead 2-1.
The start of the second period saw the Leafs actually start to look like the better team. Ottawa weathered the storm, though, and Brady Tkachuk drew a penalty about four minutes in to send the Sens to the powerplay yet again.
This time, the powerplay worked! Tim Stützle worked absolute magic to get the puck to Drake Batherson, who shot the puck into an empty net. Highlight-reel goal for the Sens’ best duo. 3-1 Ottawa.
Once again, the Senators didn’t even both waiting a full minute before scoring again. Batherson netted his second of the game and 11th of the season. 4-1 Ottawa.
Decent 53 seconds for Drake! #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/qgBl7OLNZl— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 15, 2021
It was, indeed, bath time.
With no more options in net, Toronto had no choice but to stick with Andersen.
With just over 11 minutes left in the period, Clark Bishop went to the box, and Ottawa headed to the penalty kill. The Leafs’ powerplay looked dangerous, Ottawa managed to kill it off.
The Senators continued to look like the better team from that point forward. Batherson almost completed the hattrick several times, with some help from Tim Stützle, but didn’t quite manage to find the back of the net. Despite some late pressure from the Leafs, the period ended with Ottawa ahead 4-1.
Toronto came out swinging to start the third, but Ottawa kept them off the scoresheet. Batherson got yet another good scoring chance, but both goalies stood tall.
You’d think these guys would know how easy it is to come back from down 4-1 when they’ve seen it happen so many times, but I guess that’s a difficult thing to accomplish when you don’t have the advantage of playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Of course, the Sens just couldn’t make things too easy. Just over halfway through the period, the Leafs drew within two goals. Wolanin was pushed into the net on the play, and unsurprisingly DJ Smith challenged for goaltender interference. In a wonderful, amazing turn of events, the goal was overturned, and the 4-1 score held. That’s sicko mode, baby.
Predictably, this resulted in an all-out meltdown in Toronto, which was especially funny given that the team was facing a 3 goal deficit. What, did you think that was going to spark a comeback? It’s not like the Sens were about to end up winning this game by only one goal, making this the second funniest disallowed goal of the season after the one against Montreal.
Cry more, Leafs fans.
The Leafs pulled their goaltender with just over six minutes left in the game, and soon scored for real this time to make the score 4-2 Ottawa.
I guess the refs took pity on them this time.
The Sens played a slightly more offensive style after that. Brady Tkachuk missed a wide open net, and so did Connor Brown, but I don’t need to tell you that last part.
It didn’t work, though. With about two minutes left in the game, Toronto scored again to pull within one goal. 4-3 Ottawa.
Tkachuk missed the empty net yet again, twice, and I love the guy but what the hell. The Leafs very nearly tied it at the end, and Daccord stood tall, but I swear my life flashed before my eyes every time the puck went anywhere near the Ottawa net. I didn’t really think the Leafs were capable of pulling off such a comeback, but did I think the Sens were capable of blowing this lead?
Yeah, kind of.
Anyways, it all worked out in the end, as Daccord posted his first NHL win, the Leafs were thoroughly embarrassed, and we were all able to breathe a sigh of relief.
"I don't even have words right now. I just want to thank my family for everything they've done for me - It's pretty special."— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 15, 2021
An emotional Joey Daccord joined @SNkylebukauskas to discuss his first career @NHL win in a game he wasn't supposed to start. What a moment. 👏 #NHLonSN pic.twitter.com/LYPPDEzcZf
- Tim Stützle has had good nights and bad nights this season, and tonight was absolutely a good night. His playmaking ability is just unreal. The pass to Batherson on that third goal stands out, but it wasn’t his only great pass tonight.
- Obviously I have to shout out Drake Batherson here. Two goals, and it easily could have been four. An absolutely incredible night for this duo.
- Joey Daccord, man. Watch his postgame interview if you feel like crying. He had good support from the team in front of him, but he made a lot of big stops and certainly wasn’t any worse than Murray and Hogberg have been this season. I hope we get to see more of him./