This California trip has been filled with anticipation since before it even began. The game against the San Jose Sharks was in jeopardy of being played without fans present due to the spread of COVID-19, and then tonight; the game against the Los Angeles Kings was questionable to even be played altogether. After the NBA announced that it would suspend the remainder of the season, many anticipated that the remaining late games in the NHL would also be suspended. However, in true NHL fashion, the games were allowed to continue with an update on the situation to come tomorrow (and as always, we will keep you updated).
Back to the game, the Kings are considered the hottest team in the league right now, winning 6 games in a row. Watching the standings you wouldn’t have guessed it. For those following the tank, this game did have some major implications on the standings for both the Senators and the Sharks who lost earlier tonight. In other words, a King victory wouldn’t be the worst result but who wants to watch their own team lose; especially this late at night?
The Sens were determined to not let their horrible loss against the Anaheim Ducks affect their game tonight, and Brady Tkachuk started us off with a gorgeous pass to Bobby Ryan who made it 1-0 only 29 seconds into the game. The goal seemed to have energized the entire team, as the Sens were playing an inspiring and good effort road game. With a little over 10 mins left in the period, the Sens were out-chancing the Kings 10-1. However, the Kings were not a team that was going to fold, especially not so early on in the game. With less than 10 minutes left in the period; Zaitsev fails to protect Andy and lets a perfect pass get through to Trevor Lewis who easily ties the game.
Moments later, the Sens take a too many men penalty and the Kings, who were starting to really catch up, get the chance to go ahead. Anderson made some key saves but he was about to be tested even more when Zaitsev took a delay of game penalty to make it a 5 on 3 power play for the Kings. Fortunately, Anderson continued his fantastic work, and the penalty was killed. The Kings gained more confidence as the period went on but credit to the Sens, they continued their strong pace. The period ended with a Kings shot advantage of 13-10.
The second period was uneventful although the pace continued to be fast with chances on both sides. It did seem many Sens fans went to bed at this point, but the teams continued their battle. They had a chance on the power play after Drew Doughty took a tripping penalty, but the tie remained. The Kings continued to out-shoot the Sens, but not by much, 11-8.
The third period began and fans anticipated a big frame, many wondering if this is the last NHL period we would see in a while. With a Kings penalty pending, Anthony Duclair displayed the power of his speed as he got the puck deep for Englund to throw the it at the net where Jayce Hawryluk was ready for to tip in the go ahead goal.
Another Doughty call; which he didn’t like as it was against Tkachuk (of course) to give the Sens another power play opportunity. Penalty was killed but it seemed to have energized the Kings a bit as they got full control of the puck towards the end of the kill.
The Kings got their turn to go on the power play after Dustin Brown was tackled on a one on one battle with no other than Nikita Zaitsev. A fantastic power play by the Kings but an even better kill by the Sens, until the last few seconds of the power play when Gabriel Vilardi found the exact angle to beat Andy clean. Tie game with a little over 10 mins to go.
The Kings were even more energized after tying the game and continued to push. Thomas Chabot took a penalty with six minutes left in the game and the Kings were looking at a golden opportunity to take a hold of this game. Anderson continued to impress on this power play but things looked a bit scary when he went down hard on a save. He was fine and Chris Tierney looked like he might be giving the Sens another lead but a save by Peterson and a good play by Doughty send the Kings the other way. Martin Frk got the go ahead goal seconds later.
Andy headed to the bench with less than two minutes to go to give the Sens an extra attacker, and while they did manage to get more than few great chances, the score remained 3-2 with the LA Kings now winning seven games in a row.
- If the NHL is really suspended tomorrow, this may be Anderson’s final NHL game or at least final game with the Sens. No matter how you feel about Andy, if this is truly the end of his career; he has been a pleasure to watch the past few years and has truly played his heart out the past few games
- I’m really harsh on Colin White but tonight he has continued to improve his play and has shown he can really make an impact with consistent effort.
- Connor Brown has continued his impressive season and seems to be at the centre of every good play. Zaitsev on the other hand seems to have been lost the majority of the game.
- This was an extremely well played game by the Sens especially on a back to back game after getting a beat down and with all the distractions from a health perspective, I can’t imagine this was an easy game to play.
- Balcers is going to be huge for this team in the near future; he seems NHL ready and it’s exciting to see what he can do with more ice time and experience.
- With the Kings win and the Sharks loss; the Sens now have the second and third worst records in the league./