Senators stifle Bedard, Blackhawks in 2-0 win

Kelly and Giroux had the goals, Forsberg made 18 saves

Senators stifle Bedard, Blackhawks in 2-0 win
Photo by Benjamin R. / Unsplash

All the hype before the game was on the topic of Connor Bedard's first game in Ottawa, but he was held off the scoresheet by a stingy Senators team. Anton Forsberg made just 18 saves in his second shutout of the season. Claude Giroux and Parker Kelly scored in the first six minutes of the game, and those stood as the only goals and the Sens cruised to victory. A tidy win all around.

In the first period, the Sens picked up right where they left off against the Sabres last night. Artem Zub took a penalty in the first minute, but it didn't matter, because Claude Giroux scored maybe the easiest shorthanded goal of his career.

Seriously, I have no idea what Seth Jones was doing on defence there. It's like he was playing a 2-on-1 where he was covering the pass to a ghost. Parker Kelly then doubled the lead with a shot that first Nikita Zaitsev, then Petr Mrazek tried to glove down but whiffed on.

Seriously though, for Kelly to score a career-high 8 goals after not scoring in his final 29 games last season must feel good. He's gone from being likely out of the NHL to having cemented his spot on the fourth line. At one point, Ottawa was up 17-4 in shots in this period, though Anton Forsberg did still have to make a couple saves late to keep the score 2-0 going into the first intermission.

The second period happened, I'm pretty sure. Ottawa got a powerplay, Forsberg made some saves, Shane Pinto hit the post with 30 seconds left. The shots were 11-7 for Ottawa. There were no goals. Parker Kelly got hit in the nose with a puck and it looked scary, but he returned to the game so thankfully he was OK. I swear I watched the period but I have no idea what else to write here. Ottawa kept the game moving along.

The third period was a lot like the second. Forsberg made some saves, Ottawa outshot Chicago 7-5, there were no goals. With Mrazek pulled late in the third, Giroux and Stutzle tried a little too hard to be unselfish, forcing a couple passes, bobbling their first chance at scoring, and then Joseph hit the post on a second chance. And then in the dying seconds, a clearing attempt hit the other post, and time ran out before Shane Pinto (the lone person who followed up the attempt) could tuck it into the empty net. The Sens won 2-0 in a game in which they outshot the Blackhawks 34-18 and never really looked like they were in trouble.

Game Thoughts:

  • We are not worthy of Claude Giroux. It is incredible how good he still is at age 36.
  • Tyler Kleven looked reasonable in his ice time. Nothing outstanding but steady. It says a lot that he was within three minutes of Erik Brannstrom and Jacob Bernard-Docker. Yes, the Sens got out to an early lead, but still, coaches only play players they trust. Kleven is definitely going to be fighting to at least be the seventh defenceman next year.
  • Scoring three goals in two games will help, but Jakob Chychrun looks more confident and comfortable out there. It was also nice to see him check on Kelly down the tunnel, and also stand up for Tim Stutzle against Nick Foligno. I don't know if you can make it work in a hard-cap league, but I would love to see him stay.
  • Mathieu Joseph was flying on the third line and on the PK tonight. On a great team, a guy like Joseph isn't in your top six, but he's a really, really, really good third-liner. It's nice to see how well he and Ridly Greig fit together on that line. Dominik Kubalik, well, he looks like a guy who expects to be in the KHL next year.
  • It's impressive that Angus Crookshank has had a couple games with Giroux and Stutzle and doesn't look out of place. He seems to have the hands and the speed to be a good fit with those two. I wouldn't complain if the Sens found a better option, but for now he’s a good fit in that role.

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