Mathieu Joseph Helps Ottawa Senators Secure 4-2 Victory over Tampa Bay

Mathieu Joseph scored twice against his former team, as the Sens took down a 4-2 win over the Lightning

Mathieu Joseph Helps Ottawa Senators Secure 4-2 Victory over Tampa Bay
Photo by Michał Mancewicz / Unsplash

The Tampa Bay Lightning were coming off an incredibly embarrassing 9-2 loss at home to the Florida Panthers on Saturday, while the Ottawa Senators were looking to stop a two-game skid after dominating the Chicago Blackhawks but still losing 3-2 on Saturday.

It was no surprise, then, to see the Lightning come out fast, and there were many times this season when the team would have been down 2-0 quickly based on the pressure . However, Anton Forsberg weathered the storm and kept the game scoreless despite the shots being 7-1 early.

Then Ottawa woke up, and Tim Stützle put the Senators up 1-0 with one of the nicer goals he's scored:

It was great to see a highlight reel play that actually ended up in the back of the net for Stützle because that hasn't often been the case this season. Just a few minutes later, Mathieu Joseph finished off a wonderful breakout from Stützle and Claude Giroux and made it 2-0. It was a seamless transition, and it must have felt good for Joseph to score against his former team:

In the second period, Forsberg continued to play well enough to hold the lead for the Senators, and the team wasn't letting the Lightning get back into the game. Joseph continued his excellent play on the top line and hilariously blew past Erik Cernak with 4:11 left in the period. Cernak had no chance to catch up, and Joseph placed it perfectly past Andrei Vasilevskiy's blocker yet again. It was two goals for Joseph, making a huge difference against his old team:

Ottawa wasn't able to hold the three-goal lead heading into the final period though, as Mitchell Chaffee was able to take advantage of a puck that came out to the front of the net after Jakob Chychrun couldn't control it. Forsberg wasn't really expecting the puck to be there, nor should he have. Still: Ottawa held a 3-1 lead heading into the final frame.

For a moment, it appeared as if Ottawa could ease up a bit, as they made it 4-1 just 4:01 into the third period. Brady Tkachuk hustled to a loose puck to get to a 2-on-1 with Vladimir Tarasenko. In what sure looked like a deliberate attempt to create a rebound, Tkachuk shot it low far pad, which turned into a perfect pass right to Tarasenko on the rebound, who scored easily:

Although it seemed like the 4-1 lead meant they could relax a bit, Brayden Point got one back just 35 seconds later. Drake Batherson turned it over at the half wall in his own zone, and Brandon Hagel was able to pass it to a wide-open Point in the slot. So it was back to 4-2 with plenty of time left.

With 9:13 left in the game, Shane Pinto drew the first powerplay of the game for either team, as previous penalties were off-setting. It was a great opportunity for the Sens to give themselves some breathing room, but despite some good looks, they couldn't take advantage. The Lightning then pulled Vasilevskiy for the extra attacker with over three minutes left.

Joseph was so close to getting a hat trick on the empty net, but his shot from the defensive zone just missed. Tampa Bay had some hectic pressure for the dying minutes, and some of their skaters were on for over three minutes. Ottawa had some great blocked shots, JBD with a stellar effort in particular, and excellent saves from Forsberg enabled the squad to escape with a 4-2 victory. The two-game skid is over.

Game Notes:

  • I wouldn't say Forsberg stole the game tonight because he only faced 26 shots, but he absolutely could have lost the game at various points as he and Korpisalo have unfortunately done on several occasions this year. The Lightning poured it on during a few stretches, and he held his own, which is exactly what the Sens needed.
  • Joseph continues to impress this season, especially on the top line with Stützle and Giroux. It looks like somebody is using a speed burst on his controller or something because he just breezes past defensemen. I've liked having him up in the lineup.
  • I'm not sure if it's the Lightning being slow, but it seems like Ottawa has been able to get to pucks a lot faster recently. There's some urgency there, which they've lacked previously.
  • The powerplay only had one attempt, but it failed to convert and I still don't get why we aren't seeing some big changes there. Or at least having Josh Norris in a one-timer position on the right side.
  • Tonight was somehow the first time this season that Stützle has scored in back-to-back games. Let's see more of that tomorrow night.
  • Overall it was an impressive effort on the road against a very skilled Tampa Bay team. Something to build on?

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