Nick Paul Powers Senators Past Sharks

The kids were alright tonight.

After a lacklustre performance against the New York Islanders, and Bobby Ryan being a healthy scratch, Ottawa Senators head coach D.J. Smith made one thing clear: he wanted a better effort.

He got it against the struggling San Jose Sharks. Nick Paul scored twice, while Brady Tkachuk, Connor Brown, and Anthony Duclair also found the back of the net, as the Senators rolled past Erik Karlsson and his struggling squad, downing San Jose 5-2.

Craig Anderson was excellent, stopping 34 of 36 shots. The Sens improve to 3-7-1 on the new campaign, while the Sharks fall to 4-7-1.

The game was hard-hitting and physical from the get-go, with both teams trading some big shots and trying to establish dominance. It was the Senators, though, that would gain the upper hand 6:34 in to the game, when Connor Brown fired his first as an Ottawa Senator past Aaron Dell.

The Sharks would respond less than three minutes later on the powerplay, when Evander Kane scored his seventh of the young campaign, and knotted things up at 1-1.

Ottawa would retake the lead with a little under five minutes to go in the frame, when Nick Paul took a Brady Tkachuk feed through the neutral zone, and fired an absolute bullet high blocker side.

Where the hell did THAT come from?!

Despite scoring his first of the year, Paul wasn’t done there, as he scored his second of the game (and the season) 11 minutes into the second.

Not sure who that 65 for San Jose is, but Paul bullied him in front of the net. Connor Brown set him up with a gorgeous saucer pass, Paul had his first-career multi-goal game, and the Sens had a 3-1 lead.

Feeling the game beginning to slip away, San Jose would respond with a Kevin Labanc breakaway goal a couple minutes later to make it 3-2. Nevertheless, the Sens kept the pressure on, and Brady Tkachuk snapped a six-game goalless streak to restore the two-goal lead.

When the third period began, Martin Jones had replaced Aaron Dell in the San Jose goal. Most of the frame was pretty quiet, with neither team really generating any high-percentage opportunities. The Sharks got a late flurry, but it was the Senators that would break the other way, and Anthony Duclair scored a beauty of a goal to make it 5-2.

There was a little bit of heat to end the game though, as Barclay Goodrow took a run at Thomas Chabot, and caught Ottawa’s star defenceman up high with a little over a minute to go.

Scott Sabourin would call Goodrow to question over the hit, receiving a roughing penalty and a misconduct for his troubles. D.J. Smith was also visibly upset about the hit, asking the officials to “MAKE THE _______ CALL”. I’ll let you folks discern what seven-letter word he used.

All that aside, the Senators left with a well-deserved 5-2 victory over San Jose.

Game Notes

  • The obvious first star tonight was Nick Paul. He logged his best game as a pro, and was rewarded with two really nice goals for his efforts. Methinks it’s time for him to buy a house in Ottawa, Canada.
  • Not to be outdone, Logan Brown looked absolutely phenomenal. He was using his size on the forecheck, and had some displays of perfect passing to set up offensive opportunities./

Needless to say, Brown is beginning to show the makings of a number one centre, with offensive instincts like that. If he can continue to round out his game at this pace, he’s going  to be a top player in no time.

  • Though their icetime was somewhat limited, the fourth line of Chlapik-Beaudin-Sabourin looked solid in serving their purpose. They were hard on the forecheck, more often than not pinning the Sharks in their end of the rink. Chlapik even laid a huge hit on Erik Karlsson, setting the tone early in the game. They’re not going to rack up all kinds of points any time soon, but they looked as good as you can expect of a fourth line in a limited showing.
  • Erik Karlsson was -4. Not all of them were his fault, but he didn’t look his usual, world-beater self. The Sharks as a whole, honestly, look terrible. I don’t know what’s wrong, but they need to get it figured out before their entire season falls apart./

It was a big second period that pushed the Sens to victory tonight. That said, there wasn’t a lot of high-danger chances for San Jose, despite their control of possession.

Most of the Ottawa markers came right from the mouth of the goal. Really, really good puck movement to get in position for those chances. More of this, please.

Up Next:

The Senators are out of action for nearly a week, next taking the ice in Boston on Saturday to kick off a three-game road trip. Puck drop against the Bruins is scheduled for 7pmET.

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