Norris Leads Sens Past Kraken

Josh Norris scored twice in his 100th NHL game on Thursday night as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Seattle Kraken in their first trip to Kanata.

The Ottawa Senators welcomed the Seattle Kraken to the Canadian Tire Centre for the first time tonight. The Kraken, another team we’re likely to see make an early selection at the draft, came into this one sitting last in the division with 39 points.

Between the pipes, Sens fans in Kanata got to see Anton Forsberg continue his strong play as Matt Murray remains out with an upper body injury. At the other end, former Sens prospect Chris Driedger took command of the crease. Driedger, a third round Senators pick from 2012, comes into this one with a rough 0.888 SV% through 17 starts for the league’s newest team.

Fans in the arena were surely disappointed to see Seattle open the scoring in the first period. Luckily, the goal was called off due to the play being off-side and the score remained knotted at nothing.

In response, the Sens got right to work as the recently returned Josh Norris blasted home his 21st of the year, with assists going to Brady Tkachuk and offensive dynamo Nick Holden.

That would be the only puck that legally crossed the line in the first frame.

Heading into the second, Tkachuk headed to his spot in front of the net and did what he usually does - get in the way, find the puck, bang it home.

Ottawa’s second goal of the game was Tkachuk’s 20th of the year in 53 games - a 30 goal pace over a full 82 game season.

It didn’t take long for the Sens to add another, thanks to a mistake by Adam Larsson. Parker Kelly, who’s on a bit of a heater at the moment, buried his fifth of the year. This was Kelly’s third goal in his last four games.

The third period looked much the same until the halfway mark when Seattle scored two goals just 36 seconds apart to turn this comfortable 3-0 lead into a nail biting one goal game. Seattle almost made it a tie game shortly after if it weren’t for some Artem Zub heroics, knocking a trickling pick out of the crease before it crossed the goal line.

With under seven minutes left, Mason Appleton - surprisingly the name of a hockey player and not a rum distillery - completed the comeback. His sixth of the year squeaked past Forsberg on the short side and, all of the sudden, things got real loud in Kanata. The full 60 was not enough in this one and an almost half capacity crowd got to see some free 3-on-3.

Early in extra time, the Kraken gained and maintained possession but Norris, Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot kept them entirely to the outside, with no chances. Tim Stützle hopped over the boards to join the captain and Chabot, quickly creating an opportunity before losing the puck at the blueline. Luckily for Stützle, Tkachuk made a fantastic defensive play on the backcheck to keep the game going.

On the same shift, Stützle drew a penalty and Norris joined them on the ice for an overtime powerplay. The moment Mark Giordano took that penalty, we knew what was coming next. You guessed it, a Josh Norris powerplay one timer for the win.

Game Notes

  • The amount of Parker Kelly love on the TSN broadcast was both lovely and warranted. Kelly, who went undrafted originally joined the Senators off a training camp tryout, scored his fifth of the year tonight. Not that it’s likely or sustainable, but that’s a 16 goal pace across 82 games. Well above what anyone expected from Kelly, which is absolutely fantastic.
  • While I’m sure Anton Forsberg would’ve liked a few of those goals back, he was still solid again tonight with a 0.909 SV% and a few timely saves to maintain the 3-0 lead as long as he could.
  • Josh Norris scored twice, including the game winner, giving him four goals and two assists in his five games back in the lineup.
  • The Captain had a goal and an assist, an incredible defensive backcheck in overtime and was his usual physical self throughout the night. Tkachuk has four points in his last three games.
  • Thanks to a lengthy shift in overtime, Thomas Chabot came oh-so-close to playing 30 minutes tonight with an admirable 29:53. He also teed up Norris for the game winner and was his usual puck moving self throughout the night./

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