Sens Collapse in Third Period, Fall 7–2 to Canes

Chabot had a goal and an assist in his return to the lineup

Sens Collapse in Third Period, Fall 7–2 to Canes
Photo by Colin Lloyd / Unsplash

The Ottawa Senators mounted a couple mini-comebacks in this game, erasing deficits to make it 1–1 and 2–2. However, the Canes opened things up with four unanswered goals​ to start the third, and Ottawa couldn't make it back. Thomas Chabot had a goal and an assist in his return to the lineup, and Anton Forsberg made 31 saves in the loss. It was a match-up that was going pretty well....until it wasn't.

The game was off to a weird start in that the Sens were in their away whites because the Hurricanes had brought their home blacks to play the Leafs yesterday, who wore their white St. Pats jerseys, and apparently NHL teams aren't allowed to bring a change of clothes. The first goal of the game was another weird one, in that Thomas Chabot made a bad pinch as a powerplay ended, Claude Giroux messed up his coverage, and defenceman Dmitry Orlov got in on a breakaway against Anton Forsberg. Noted friend of the Sens Brendan Lemieux got the primary assist on that one. Chabot wasn't going to let that play define his first game back though, so he scored a beauty goal from what I would have thought was an impossible angle:

In the dying seconds of the first, Dominik Kubalik got forced into a hold. Mathieu Joseph got a little too eager on a stick tap on the PK, and gifted the Hurricanes a 5-on-3. The Sens killed the -on-3 part, but then Evgeny Kuznetsov scored just after it turned into an -on-4. Personally, I love seeing a guy come back from the player assistance program and be successful. It continued to be back-and-forth though, and Tim Stützle put on the moves to get the tying goal:

The Sens did fall off after a bit, allowing the Canes to build up their cycle, and they did retake the lead late in the second, with Seth Jarvis sneaking through coverage to put in a beauty cross-ice pass that Forsberg had zero chance on.

Entering the third period, it was unclear if the Sens would stage another comeback or crumble. Ten minutes in, in which the score went from 3–2 to 6–2, it was obvious that crumble was the flavour of the period. None of the goals against were terrible, but winning teams have their goalies stop some non-gimmes too.​ It became obvious it wasn't the Sens' night when right after, Mark Kastelic (!!) got a clean breakaway but drilled the post after deking out Andersen. Lemieux salted the wound by tipping home a Brent Burns point shot, and then Erik Brännström got totally robbed on a rebound chance. The game was out of reach, but Andersen was still fighting for the starter position entering the playoffs. That pretty well did it for the game. Tkachuk took a late penalty for taking out his frustrations on Jordan Martinook, but it was inconsequential. The Sens absolutely collapsed in the third and fell 7–2.

Post-Game Thoughts:

  • This team's goalies are a liability too often. This is absolutely Steve Staios' biggest challenge to deal with this summer.
  • This team really, really misses Chabot when he's out. I keep harping on this, but this team's liability isn't having 4 out of their 5 top defencemen shooting left, it's that the drop is so huge to the sixth or seventh guy. You can shelter your sixth D, but as soon as there's an injury, this group is badly exposed. ​There is precedent that a defenceman plays better on his strong side. However, we have precedent this season that several Left–Left pairings have been very good:
  • (Image from Ryan Hyndman's protected account on Twitter.) I say, if you have good players who want to be here, keep them. Don't galaxy brain yourself into trading the parts that are actually working. Oh, and bring back Dylan DeMelo in the summer.
  • It's fun seeing teams go for it at the Trade Deadline. The Canes bringing in Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jake Guentzel, both of whom scored tonight, is a sign to the team that their team wants to win. I hope someday soon the Sens are in a position to do the same.

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