Either the Ottawa Senators gave fans their money’s worth with 65+ minutes of close hockey against the Florida Panthers or the Ottawa Senators prolonged our collective consternation dragging out a loss for 65+ minutes against the Florida Panthers.
As you may have expected given their respective places in the standings, the Panthers dominated Ottawa in terms of shot volume and quality (see charts below) with the shots closing out at 49-22 after regulation and overtime. Suffice to say, Anton Forsberg played extremely well stopping 46 of 49 (including 43 of 44 at five-on-five) to keep this game close when by all accounts the Panthers should have blown Ottawa out of the water.
Early in the game it felt like maybe Forsberg could go all the way goalie-ing the Panthers, with Sergei Bobrovsky having one of those nights. Alex Formenton scored on Ottawa’s third shot of the game to give you an idea of how goalie Bob played. Some fans knock Formenton for his failure to convert regularly on his breakaways but the guy has 15 goals on a lousy team so he must have converted on a few. He generated the breakaway off a fortuitous bounce but give him full credit for the finish:
With the Cats outshooting the Sens at about a 2:1 clip, Forsberg did his thing and, like I said it almost felt the the Sens might do some Sens-ing especially when Artem Zub scored his first goal in front of fans at the CTC to perfect the vibes. Drake Batherson got an assist on his return to action and Brady Tkachuk drew a penalty as the period ended so it kinda seemed like Ottawa could actually pull this thing off.
Replay of Zub's goal from Norris and Batherson pic.twitter.com/PUyxbLBgkA— OSNL (@OSNL11) March 26, 2022
Whereas Ottawa kept the quality of shots close in the first while conceding quantity, they started coughing up expected goals against in the second while keeping Corsi close. Either way, Forsberg had to keep the Sens in it all night. Capitalizing on said goaltending, Ottawa’s fourth line scored a rare goal with Dylan Gambrell lighting the lamp for the first time in a very long time (it feels nice to be on the other side of that) but full credit to Tyler Ennis for the nice pick-off here before dishing it to Gambrell:
Now stop me if you’ve heard this one before, with a three-goal lead and a red-hot goaltender behind them, the Sens just completely self-destructed midway through the game. Only fittingly, the Duke, Anthony Duclair, opened the scoring for Florida on the powerplay. This wouldn’t have happened if Ottawa had retained him. Just saying. The Cats added another goal shortly thereafter but it took seven-minutes of real time to review the play and confirm the goal. Some fans won’t like the call but in the grand scheme of things, looking at the standings and the dominant performance of the Panthers on Saturday night, it doesn’t matter that the league called good goal. For those curious about the decision:
Anyway, after 40 minutes, Forsberg had already played a full game, stopping 29 0f 31 and the Sens did not deserve to lead 3-2 after two periods. You kinda knew what would happen next. Florida continued to pummel Ottawa with shots and Forsberg held down the fort as long as he could. Ottawa got a gift with a no-goal call going in their favour but some teams just find a way to lose. And I don’t like to point fingers or name names but a certain current head coach of the Ottawa Senators has this predilection for putting out one or two of his good forwards alongside his worst forward and his worst defensive pairing to protect a lead and life is just one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.
Forsberg and Ottawa’s good players tried to bail their [redacted] coach out in overtime and the shootout but the Sens had already used up their nine lives against these cats.
- Obviously the failure to convert in overtime hurt the most but I guess we couldn’t really expect the powerplay to operate any more efficiently on Batherson’s first night back. Going 0-for-4 doesn’t seem that out of the ordinary for this team this season.
- Batherson had a great game. I don’t know what else to say. I always get apprehensive about players coming back from injury prematurely (especially in a lost season) but the Drake had it going on Saturday.
- I don’t know what I expected but these two teams have developed some bad blood this season. Patric Hornqvist really hates the Senators for some reason.
- Posted without comment: (stats courtesy of naturalstattrick)/
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