For all the upset victories that they’ve pulled out in the 2021 season, the Ottawa Senators failed to find one against the Edmonton Oilers.
Devin Shore scored the winner with 7:02 to play, while Mike Smith stopped 37 of 38 shots, and the Oilers beat the Senators for the ninth consecutive — and final — time this season, by a score of 3-1.
It wasn’t for a lack of effort on Ottawa’s part. They were flying offensively, with Tim Stützle in particular leading the charge with some Grade-A chances, but Smith stood tall. Connor Brown extended his goal streak to six games, tallying the Senators’ only marker.
The game’s first period was somewhat uncharacteristic of how the Senators have played over the past few games. Rather than getting hemmed in their own zone, the Sens pushed the pace, and outshot the Oilers 10-5.
Ottawa was also granted two powerplays, but couldn’t make good on either opportunity.
The Oilers, however, got a man advantage of their own around the halfway mark of the second period. With Nikita Zaitsev in the box for a holding penalty on Connor McDavid, the Edmonton captain put the puck on net, and Kailer Yamamoto was there to bang home the rebound, and open the scoring.
Unlike so many other games against the Oilers, though, the Senators bounced back. The wheels did not fall off, and Ottawa managed to sustain the attack.
Fittingly, it was Brown that tied the game. Chris Tierney fed him from the corner, and Brown’s shot handcuffed Smith to make it a 1-1 game.
Again, I want to emphasize that Brown has goals in six straight games for #28.
The Oilers responded in the third, carrying the flow of play for the first half of the frame. They finally broke through when Shore tipped a Caleb Jones point shot past Forsberg at the 12:58 mark, giving Edmonton their second and final lead of the night.
Jesse Puljujarvi added an empty-netter with ten seconds to play, and the Oilers earned a 9-0 season series sweep over Ottawa.
It is an undoubtedly disappointing result for this young Senators team, but one has to take this for what it is. Edmonton is up near the top of the division, with arguably the world’s two best players on their squad, and ambitions of a deep playoff run. While Ottawa hung with them tonight, these are points that the Oilers should earn nine times out of ten.
Or, perhaps more accurately, nine times out of nine.
What can you say? The Senators got goalie’d tonight.
*gestures at “Got Goalie’d” sign*
- While Tim Stützle saw his goalless streak extend to 13 games, tonight was one of his best games as a pro. With a 62.50% Corsi rating at five on five, as well as an xGF% of 65.83%, he was all over the offensive zone. Stützle ended the night tied for the team lead in shots on goal with Brady Tkachuk at six, and if he keeps this up, the goals will come in spades.
- Thomas Chabot stood out in both ends of the ice. He controlled the flow of play offensively, and hustled back to defend his own net, never getting caught out of position. Chabot played a whopping 32:34, and looked good in spite a total TOI where his level of fatigue usually shows.
- Mike Amadio was solid in his Ottawa Senators debut, centring the Stützle-Drake Batherson line. His underlying metrics were really impressive as well, and the speed Amadio brings, combined with his underrated scoring touch, could see him develop some chemistry with the Sens’ young stars.
- Erik Brannstrom saw just 10:06 of ice time, and nothing in the way of powerplay opportunities. DJ Smith has said he’ll get a sizeable workload after the trade deadline, but with how ineffective the powerplay has been of late, I don’t see the harm in giving Brannstrom a look. Perhaps they’re doing everything they can to showcase tradebait pieces like Mike Reilly.
- Speaking of the trade deadline, Ottawa has just one more game before April 12th./
Up Next: The Senators roll into Toronto for a Saturday night tilt with the Maple Leafs. Puck drop is scheduled for 7pmEST.