Tonight’s game between the Ottawa Senators and the Vegas Golden Knights was supposed to be an exciting one. It was the first tilt between these two teams in NHL history, the expansion team’s first visit to the Canadian Tire Centre, and the first game since that huge announcement that Kyle Turris was actively being shopped by Pierre Dorion.
Instead, it was a three-hour long snoozefest between two teams that like to play the trap and stifle any offence. I think the Sens might have fallen asleep. I almost did. Multiple times.
Am I currently writing this on split screen while the game is still going on because I need two screens open or else I might die of boredom? Absolutely.
Am I starting to wonder if I’m jinxing the Sens because they seem to lose every game I recap? Kind of.
Actually, we should have all predicted this loss, and you know why? Because the Knights were playing a fourth-string goalie who’d never won before, and those guys are like rookies looking for their first NHL goal. Obviously, the Sens were going to give him his first NHL win.
Ottawa got off to a good start in the first period, putting pressure on the Vegas netminder and winning the possession game. Unfortunately, they failed to get the puck in the net, and the Golden Knights struck first on the powerplay.
Not long after, Jean-Gabriel Pageau took objection to a Luca Sbisa hit on Tom Pyatt, and dropped the gloves with the Knights defenseman. Both players ended up in the box, and the Sens ended up with an extra two penalty minutes for instigating, despite the fact that Sbisa was the first one to drop the gloves. This was a terrible trade-off for Ottawa in two ways: one, because Jean-Gabriel Pageau had to leave the ice, and two, because Luca Sbisa was no longer on the ice for Vegas.
Thankfully, the Golden Knights did not score on the powerplay, and so Pageau’s decision to stick up for his teammate looked a lot better. Turris and Phaneuf combined for an excellent chance near the end of the period, but the Sens ended the frame behind by one goal.
The one-goal deficit held for all of twenty seconds into the second period. Right off the opening faceoff, Mike Hoffman sent a huge shot through traffic, and Mark Stone redirected it at the last second to even the score.
Not long after that, Zack Smith got sent to the box for abuse of a Linesman, and Vegas took the lead again just as the penalty expired. Sidenote: do linesmen and referees not exist to be verbally abused? I thought we were supposed to treat them the way Twitter bots treat women who express opinions: just constantly hurl insults at them whether it makes sense or not.
A scary moment occurred early on in the period when Craig Anderson appeared to get hit in the neck, and went down in obvious pain. Thankfully, he stayed in net and finished the game, but it certainly looked bad. Let’s all hope he’s fine and that he looks into better equipment in the future.
Ottawa soon evened the score once again when Burrows scored using a method all too familiar to Sens fans: the wraparound. It was strange, but nice, to see the tactic work on a goalie other than Craig Anderson for a change. Vegas challenged the goal for goaltender interference, but it was clear that the puck had gone in before Burrows had interfered with Lagace, and the call on the ice stood.
Vegas took the lead again with Chris DiDomenico in the box, and the score was 3-2 after 40 minutes. Quite frankly, Ottawa was lucky to escape the period down by only one goal, as they were outshot 17-7 in the second, for a total of only 12 shots on goal in the game. To top things off, their amazing penalty kill had basically given up three goals.
For the third time in a row, the Sens looked good off the opening faceoff, but quickly lost momentum and gave up a goal against. This time, the goal was scored by a player named William Karlsson. I am personally offended that this man would have the audacity to steal Erik Karlsson’s name, then score on Erik Karlsson’s team. Who does he think he is? It’s like whenever someone wears 65. Or when Vox Media tries to tag some guy from Carolina whenever I write about Karlsson.
To add insult to injury, the goal was a wraparound, as are most goals against Craig Anderson. At least it feels that way. I really wish he’d work on that.
Zack Smith ended up on the receiving end of a huge hit along the boards, but there was no penalty on the play. Smith left the game with an injury, and there’s still no word on whether or not he will make the trip to Sweden.
Vegas soon went ahead 5-2 on yet another powerplay goal, and it looked like the game was well and truly over. But of course, because this is the Ottawa Senators and they love to make things interesting, Ryan Dzingel answered just over a minute later to bring the team within two.
Unfortunately, it never really looked like the Sentors would actually tie the game. They played with little urgency, and were lucky the Knights didn’t score an empty netter in the dying minutes. Erik Karlsson scored his first of the season with just over 30 seconds left in the game, but it was too little, too late, and the Sens lost 5-4 in an extremely forgettable game.
- Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman were both good, as always.
- Incredibly, Ryan Dzingel already has 5 goals this season and is off to an excellent start.
- This was definitely not one of Craig Anderson’s best games.
- The entire defense corps was pretty bad, to be honest.
- Turris was surprisingly mediocre tonight, and I’m not sure how to feel about that. On the one hand, that makes it a little easier to stomach the inevitable trade, but on the other hand, if the Sens are shopping him we want him playing well so that we get a good return./