Sens' comeback bid falls just short, lose 3-2 in OT

Ottawa rallied from two goals down in the third against the best in the East

Sens' comeback bid falls just short, lose 3-2 in OT
Photo by Done By Alex / Unsplash

The Ottawa Senators managed an impressive, high-character comeback, down 2-0 in the third period of the second half of a back-to-back against a top notch opponent, but they ultimately fell just short of the win. Anton Lundell scored the overtime winner for the Florida Panthers, but the Sens still escaped the state of Florida with 3 out of 4 total points.

The first period was mostly sloppy, with the Sens looking like a team that had played the night before. Joonas Korpisalo allowed the first goal of the game on the first shot of the game just 19 seconds in off the stick of Aaron Ekblad. It felt like it was going to be downhill from there, but Korpisalo actually shut things down, and the Sens managed to find their feet in the game. It was a refreshing change for a team that's often found itself wanting a save it didn't get. Florida was the better team, no doubt, but the Sens hung tough – often bending but not breaking.

The second period saw the Sens look a bit better, but fail to solve Sergei Bobrovsky for the fifth-straight period this year. (That's right, remember that Sens-Cats game months ago when everyone got kicked out? The Sens were shut out in that game. Maybe you didn't want to remember it, in which case: I'm sorry) Then, in the dying few minutes of the period, Shane Pinto blocked a Brandon Montour shot, but it rebounded right back to Montour who tucked it in past a helpless Korpisalo.

For the second time this game, I assumed the goal was back-breaking, but these aren't your dad (DJ Smith)'s Sens; they're your (great-) grandpa Jacques Martin's Sens. They somehow found an extra gear in the third period of a back-to-back. First Thomas Chabot scored a beauty of a goal, with Bobrovsky arguing there had been goalie interference but the Panthers bench not even thinking about challenging.

And then after a huge save at one end, Tim Stützle tied things up by deking the whole Panthers team:

Woooowweeee. Timmy.

The Cats got a few more chances to win in regulation, but nothing ever quite came of it, and the match-up proceeded to OT. The Sens generated some moderate pressure, but the Panthers just seemed to have more gas, and Lundell won it 95 seconds in with a goal from a very sharp angle. Final shot count was 34–30 for Florida, with the Panthers reclaiming first place in the East with the victory.

My Thoughts:

  • This team is so much better when Timmy is confident and shooting. More of that please.
  • I actually love seeing the offensive wealth spread down the lineup. Give me three lines that can score plus an energy fourth line, and then load up the top line with the top guys late in a game where you're trying to find the tying goal.
  • The powerplay still looks hesitant and sad. Long-term that really needs to get sorted out.
  • All things considered, the Sens put up a solid fight against one of the best teams after having already played a strong game last night against Tampa. This was a gutsy performance, even if it wasn't the full 2 points. Was Florida better? Yes, and, on net they deserved to win. But Ottawa didn't roll over, and they can be proud of forcing OT – particularly when they were down two in the third.

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