They lost again. What else is new?
It was clear from the start that this would be one of those all offense, no defense games between young, high-flying teams. The Devils put some pressure on the Sens’ defense for a bit, but Dylan Ferguson prevented anything bad from happening, and soon it was back the other way, Stützle’s line absolutely refusing to give up possession, as always. In no time, Tim Stützle made a great play to spring Tkachuk on a rush to the net, and the captain scored to put the Sens ahead. 1-0 Ottawa.
The Sens then got a powerplay, but couldn’t score, and things got worse from there. Brady Tkachuk, ever the main character, got called on a pretty ridiculous charging penalty, and Jack Hughes scored on the ensuing Devils powerplay. 1-1.
Then, a Devils player basically skated the entire length of the ice to challenge Brady Tkachuk to a fight - and got his ass handed to him, naturally. I cannot fathom why anyone would want to put themselves through the ordeal of fighting Brady, but I guess his face is so punchable that getting a few punches in must be worth the rest of it.
Needless to say that the Sens got a powerplay out of that incident, but unfortunately did not score in those two minutes or in the last few minutes of the game. The momentum of the game swung wildly, with the Sens sometimes looking like far and away the better team, and at other times looking like they’d be lucky to leave with a point.
Unfortunately, things unraveled pretty quickly at the start of the second. First, a bad turnover by Holden beat Ferguson and put the Devils ahead. 2-1 New Jersey.
Then, it was Tim Stützle’s turn to give up the puck in his own zone, leading to another easy goal against. 3-1 New Jersey.
The Sens continued to be extremely messy in their own zone, to the point where it looked like they were completely losing control of the game. They finally got a break when they were awarded a powerplay, but even that turned into more frustration as Alex DeBrincat had yet another goal disallowed on an offside challenge. It was an incredible shot, and the zone entry was super unclear and had happened about 40 seconds before the goal, but of course DeBrincat is simply not allowed to score goals this season. The league forbids it.
Thankfully, Chabot salvaged the powerplay, scoring right as the Devils player left the box and effectively making up for the disallowed goal. 3-2 New Jersey.
That spelled the end of that horrific series of turnovers and defensive breakdowns that could very well have ended the Sens’ night, as they bounced back and mostly kept pace with New Jersey for the rest of the period. Before long, Travis Hamonic took a slapshot from the point, and Kastelic tipped it, to tie the game 3-3.
The Sens looked okay to start the third period, but it wasn’t good enough. Dougie Hamilton wasted no time taking back the lead for his team. 4-3 New Jersey.
The Sens just couldn’t get much going in the third, and honestly were lucky not to fall further behind, with Hughes hitting the post and the Sens being forced to kill off a penalty For some reason, DJ Smith waited until literally the last minute to pull the goaltender, by which point the top players were absolutely gassed and gave up an empty net goal before they could get anything going themselves. 5-3 New Jersey.
- Tim Stützle actually had a bit of an off night - he turned the puck over many times, and generally looked lost in his own zone at times. Naturally, he still got two points and most of the Sens’ offensive chances started with him. It’s nice to have a player like that.
- Is Travis Hamonic... on a heater?
- Jake Sanderson had another phenomenal game. It felt like he only made good decisions, and was unlucky not to create any goals./