These days, it feels like the real entertainment with the Ottawa Senators happens off the ice. What’s so exciting about watching a team give up over 40 shots and blow a third period lead every night when you could be watching them roast their coach in an Uber or create a bunch of burner accounts to say nice things about the owner?
With all due respect to the players, the stuff this organization does off the ice is hard to beat in terms of pure entertainment.
The Sens gave themselves a run for their money tonight, though, as they brought their chaotic energy to Amalie arena. The ups and downs of this game were truly something to behold.
Ottawa got the puck off the opening faceoff and, in a truly shocking turn of events, maintained possession for the first few shifts of the game. They didn’t get many particularly dangerous chances, but they had the puck, and honestly, that’s all we can really ask for from the Sens.
Much less surprisingly, the Lightning completely took over the game as soon as they got possession. They even took things one step further by actually getting shots on net. Five of them, specifically, before the Sens got a single shot.
However, just as we were starting to get comfortable with this reality, Matt Duchene got the Senators’ first shot on goal and, amazingly, it went in the net! How typical of this team.
It only took a few minutes for Bobby Ryan to make the score 2-0 out of sheer force to will, muscling his way past a few Lightning players and backhanding the puck into the net while falling on his face.
Sadly, the Lightning scored before the ten minute mark had even been reached. On the bright side, we had gotten rid of the dreaded two goal lead.
A significant amount of back-and-forth followed, with Tampa playing right into the Sens’ trademark no defense, all offense style. Shockingly, the Lightning failed to score against the Sens’ 31st-ranked penalty kill. The period ended with Ottawa ahead 2-1.
Unfortunately, Tampa Bay evened the score on a powerplay pretty much as soon as the second period started. Once again, the upside is that the Sens no longer had a lead. Can’t collapse in the third period if you blow the lead in the second...
I feel like I should be happier about the Sens actually playing exciting hockey this year, but I really liked it when they were good.
It took almost 10 minutes of the teams trading top-notch offensive chances for the Lightning to take their first lead of the game. The goal was reviewed for a possible high stick, but was eventually deemed a good goal.
Eventually, Matthew Joseph scored again, making it four in a row for Tampa Bay. Maybe it would have been a good idea to hold onto that lead after all.
The third period started well for the Sens, with Brady Tkachuk scoring less than a minute in to make the score 4-3.
Play was remarkably even and unsurprisingly entertaining for the next few minutes. With about 11 minutes left on the clock, and right at the start of a powerplay, Bobby Ryan’s shot from the point was deflected into the net by Colin White and the score was once again even.
Who could have predicted this role reversal?
Less than two minutes later, Dzingel scored an absolutely beautiful goal to put the Sens up 5-4. What even happened? I don’t understand.
What I understand even less is how the Sens could have scored a goal while Tom Pyatt was on the ice. I wasn’t aware that was allowed.
Though I, and I’m sure most other fans, fully expected Ottawa to collapse after this, they managed to pull off the most shocking move of the game. Stone scored with only a few seconds left, celebrated like he’d just scored a playoff overtime goal, and the Sens. Won. The. Game.
Who could have predicted that?
- Bobby Ryan had a surprisingly good game
- Colin White also looked pretty good
- I’m not going to say he played well, but Tom Pyatt ended his streak of 16 games without being on the ice for a goal for, which I deem worthy of a shoutout.
- Tkachuk is always good, but he was on fire tonight. Just incredible.
- Don’t look now, but Cody Ceci wasn’t bad at all tonight.
- (Actually, you should definitely look now, because that’s probably not going to happen again)/
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