This game started off on a very emotional note. Before the puck dropped, fans in the Canadian Tire Centre, at home and all around the country, came together to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers who lost their lives this week. The Ottawa Senators organization put on an incredible opening ceremony, followed by a powerful Canadian anthem, to get things started. This was simultaneously aired in Toronto and Montreal.
I think we can all agree on this: It was amazing. Take a look.
It was a beautiful way to get things started. The Sens and Devils took it from there.
The first period unfolded much like any Ottawa-New Jersey game would: Slow and steady. While there were no goals this period, the Sens went on the power play twice, generating a total of three shots between the two. At the end of the period, shots were 11-7 for the Sens.
After a New Jersey penalty, about half way through the second, the Sens opened the scoring with a power-play goal from Alex Chiasson. A quick feed from Milan Michalek and Bobby Ryan led to Chiasson putting the puck past Cory Schneider. The Sens were on the board.
It didn't take long for New Jersey to retaliate. Under two minutes later, Damon Severson beat Robin Lehner with a slap shot, tying the game 1-1. Things got out of hand shortly after, as the Devils went up 2-1 on a power play goal from Marek Zidlicky with just under five minutes to go in the period.
Not only did the Sens fall behind on the scoreboard, but they also fell behind in shots, as the Devils outshot them 14-6 in the second period.
Coming into the third period down one goal, the Sens took a penalty just over five minutes in, as Patrick Wiercioch was called for tripping. Fortunately, the Sens were able to kill off the penalty, and were still only down by one.
New Jersey's Bryce Salvador took an interference penalty at 12:07, and the Sens were on the man advantage. Shortly after, Bobby Ryan scored to make it 2-2. A diving effort from Michalek kept the play alive, and allowed Erik Karlsson to feed the puck to Ryan, who was looking at a wide open net. We had ourselves a game!
Erik Karlsson gave the Sens a great chance not long into the overtime period by breaking up a pass in his own end, and taking it all the way down to the offensive zone. Unfortunately, his pass to Bobby Ryan didn't quite make it, and that would be the closest that the Sens would come to winning this game.
At 2:37, Clarke MacArthur took a high-sticking penalty. David Legwand was a little too careless with the puck in the neutral zone, and Jaromir Jagr scored just over a minute into the power play, winning the game for New Jersey.
It wasn't the outcome we wanted, but it was a very entertaining game. The city of Ottawa, Sens fans and Canadian hockey fans in general got one step closer to normalcy after a chaotic week. We have hockey to thank for that.
Sens Hero: Everyone at the Canadian Tire Centre
The Senators organization, the fans and everyone involved in that opening ceremony deserves a standing ovation. Many fans would agree that they have never seen a pre-game ceremony quite like that one.
Those at the arena will tell you that the anthem was deafening. At home, it sounded beautiful. Watching all players stand in a circle, as the crowd sang O Canada around them, and fans in Toronto and Montreal sang along, was something we will never forget. Thank you to everyone involved in this heartwarming ceremony.
Sens Hero: Bobby Ryan
If Bobby Ryan is notorious for slow starts to the season, he may have found his groove in this game. Ryan had a goal, an assist, four shots on goal and 18:12 of ice time tonight. He tied the game up in the third period, giving Sens fans hope and bringing the crowd to their feet. He deserves hero status tonight.
Sens Hero: Erik Karlsson
Is this a permanent part of game recaps now? Although Karlsson was a -1 on the night, he had an assist, six shots on goal, 29:32 of ice time and was a big part of the game-tying goal. His feed to Ryan was a thing of beauty, which is why he is everyone's hero tonight, and every other night, ever.
Sens Zero: David Legwand
Legwand's compete level just didn't seem to be there tonight. The only thing he generated was one shot on goal, and was otherwise a zero across the board. His turnover in overtime cost the Senators the game, and in return, he gets a zero tonight.
Sens Zero: Patrick Wiercioch
The much-loved Patrick Wiercioch was invisible tonight. He was on the ice for 19:42, and yet it's hard to think of a play he was involved in that stood out at all in this game. Here are Wiercioch's stats for the night: 0 G, 0 A, 0 SOG, 2 PIM. This earned him zero status.
Honourable Mention: Milan Michalek
His two assists and two shots on goal are nice, but not jaw-dropping impressive. That diving play on the Ryan goal though, is another story. Michalek deserves a shout out for making that second effort and helping the team stay in the game.
ESPN Shot Chart:
B_T's Shot Chart: