Another game, another one-point result for Marcus Hogberg.
The Ottawa Senators returned from the All-Star break/bye week tonight to face the New Jersey Devils. Both teams were sloppy, yet fun to watch as they combined for 91(!) shots on goal in the game.
New Jersey would get on the board first thanks to a double-minor high-sticking penalty to Connor Brown. Ottawa expertly killed off the first minor before Hogberg saw the puck go off of his skate into the net shortly into the second one:
Both teams would trade chances throughout the period, though Hogberg had more quality attempts against as he was forced to stop Miles Wood and Kyle Palmieri on separate occasions, both in tight. The Senators managed to tie the game on a power-play of their own; Tyler Ennis scored his 12th of the season off of a great pass by Drake Batherson as well as some manner of sorcery from Brady Tkachuk:
The period would end with the Devils up in shots 13-12, and up in 5v5 attempts 17-15.
Both teams would continue to pile on the shot attempts in the second period, however Ottawa struggled to hit the net on too many of them. Despite winning the 5v5 shot attempt battle in the frame 38-22, they were outshot 13-12. Many of the Devils’ chances were dangerous as well, and Hogberg continued to dazzle by robbing Jack Hughes:
Glove-ly. pic.twitter.com/NG8oSRj6rg— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) January 28, 2020
Strangely enough, despite several key saves from Hogberg, this goal by Kevin Rooney was the one that put the Devils up 2-1:
Highlight of the period? Definitely the fight between Tkachuk and P.K. Subban. The two got into a minor scuffle in the 1st period, and the drama boiled over into a full-scale tilt in favour of Tkachuk:
Brady Tkachuk vs PK Subban pic.twitter.com/tIsvtyyd4Y— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) January 28, 2020
Overall, the Senators had the lion’s share of offensive zone time in the period, but in order to win the game they would need to work even harder to win key board battles in their own end and make life easier for Hogberg.
Despite being the team up by a goal in the third, New Jersey began piling on the shots even more; the shot clock was 49-35 at the end of regulation. Ottawa eventually found themselves on their heels and on the penalty kill once again, when something extraordinary happened: Nikita Zaitsev made a good defensive play!!! In all seriousness, Zaitsev’s timely lift of the stick stopped a likely goal before Vladislav Namestnikov beat Mackenzie Blackwood shorthanded to tie the game at two:
Despite my poking fun at Zaitsev earlier, I wasn’t lying about the occurrence of an extraordinary event, as on the same kill, this happened:
At this point, I has hoping they’d make like the Boston Bruins and score a third shorty but not only did that not happen, but minutes later, Kyle Palmieri evened things up at three with a tap-in goal from right in front of the net. The game remained tied at the end of regulation.
Overtime was mostly Hogberg continuing to bail out his teammates, particularly Thomas Chabot, who was caught off guard by Palmieri looking for his second of the game. Tkachuk would also get a great chance at a multi-goal game, but Blackwood stopped him in tight. By the end of overtime, Hogberg had turned away fifty shots. Mad respect.
Unfortunately, the shootout ended in what seemed like record time, with Nikita Gusev and Jack Hughes scoring the only goals for a 4-3 Devils win.
- I don’t want to make rash judgements about our goalie prospects, but Hogberg has looked phenomenal in his stint with the team, I think he’s a lot better than his numbers show, as Ottawa has been giving him very little help defensively.
- Did the Devils of all teams seriously throw 53 shots at the Sens’ net? If that number doesn’t go down tomorrow, I can see Buffalo scoring five or six without a problem. Imagine Jack Eichel being given opportunities as golden as those which Hogberg faced tonight.
- This was not Chabot’s best game. He was caught off guard in his own end more often than usual, and things simply weren't going right for him offensively.
- Mark Borowiecki had a hell of a game, finishing with a 5v5 xGF% of 54.02%, the best among Sens defenders tonight. He also shook off a nasty high-stick under the visor without too much trouble. The guy is an absolute unit./
- The back-to-back concludes Jan. 28th against the Buffalo Sabres at 7:00 PM EST. /