As the trade deadline approaches, there is a lot of pressure on some of the Ottawa Senators’ players to showcase why they should stay or potentially attract better suitors. There are a lot of trade candidates, including Nick Paul and Tyler Ennis who many inside and outside the organization are taking a closer look at. Paul, in particular, seems to be headed towards the trade group as he was kept off the ice tonight after rumours of a final offer from the Sens came to light today.
Ottawa will start their journey without Thomas Chabot for the rest of the season and this young team will be tested with its toughest challenge so far. Their opponents on this evening, the Philadelphia Flyers on the other hand, start life without their long-serving captain Claude Giroux who is expected to be traded within the next few days and did not make the trip to Ottawa with his team.
The Sens started the game knowing they can’t go half the period without a shot. They started the period with a stumble as they gave the Flyers their first power play within the first 3 minutes of the game. After killing the penalty, the Sens definitely looked better than most of their starts the past few games.
Both teams continued to exchange shots until Tim Stützle broke the ice with one of his magical laser shots to make it 1-0.
The Sens continued to push throughout the period but Brady Tkachuk almost gave the Flyers a chance to equalize as he headed to the box for the Flyers second power play opportunity. Fortunately, the Sens killed the penalty and ended the period with the lead.
The second period started at a high pace from both teams. The Sens had a bit of an edge but the Flyers were pushing back. With 13 minutes left Cam Atkinson was the beneficiary of a soft shot from Justin Braun and tipped the puck in front of Forsberg who had no chance of stopping it as it changed direction to go into the net.
The tip-jar is open for Cam Atkinson 🤑 pic.twitter.com/XMSeoSCvaa— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 19, 2022
Tied at 1, things should have gotten interesting at this point.
For some odd reason, the tying goal seemed to have settled the game down a bit. The rest of the period was really slow, but there were a few chances from the Sens including a 3 on 1 that ended with Watson’s shot being stopped. Things didn’t heat up until the very last minute of the period where the Sens got a few really good looks at Jones including very close chances by Adam Gaudette and Brady Tkachuk. While they ended the period on a good note, the Sens went into the second intermission tied at 1.
With the second period being a bit of a snooze fest, the Sens made sure the third period would be a treat. The Sens continued to test Jones in the third but it wasn’t until Tkachuk and Ristolanien went to the box for offsetting penalties. The Sens are known for being active on the 4 on 4 and this time it was Braun and Formenton taking another set of offsetting penalties. This opened up the chance for the chance to go on a 4 on 3 power play when Frost took a hooking penalty on Stützle. The Flyers seemed to be in control of the kill until Tkachuk stepped back on the ice, parked in front of the net and left Josh Norris to do what he’s best at, score a power play beauty to give the Sens the lead once again. With this goal, Norris becomes the first Sens players to reach the 25 goal mark since Matt Duchene and Mark Stone. The future is bright people, we just have to hope there’s not much time left until the rebuild is over.
The Sens completely took over this period, the Flyers spent 8 minutes without a shot on net and if it weren’t for some good luck and Jones playing well, Sens would have had at least another couple of goals.
The Flyers had a golden opportunity to tie up the game as Watson took a tripping penalty with 3 minutes left. As expected, a team that is looking for a spark, the Flyers pulled the goalie. Alex Formenton made the perfect clearing attempt from his own corner straight into the net. Formenton is now tied for most shorthanded goal in the league!
The Flyers continued to push but it was Forsberg’s time to shine and he sure did get his glow up. His late period heroics earned him a standing ovation from the home crowd, just look at this mastery!
Anton Forsberg did it again. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/lJOHBXDf35— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) March 19, 2022
The Sens hold on to win a game they had to win 3-1. The Flyers were a tired and emotionally drained team and the Sens really had no excuse to not take advantage. With Chabot out, Brannstrom is going to get a good look and tonight, he was just super. As for Forsberg, this guy is not going anywhere, anytime soon.
More importantly, the top guys played really well. Stützle, Norris and Tkachuk all had actively good games and this is exactly what you want to see from your core.