Sens come from behind to win 3-2 in overtime

Sanderson scored 41 seconds into OT to complete the comeback

Sens come from behind to win 3-2 in overtime
Photo by Library of Congress / Unsplash

The Ottawa Senators trailed 1-0 and 2-1 in this one, managing to bring it back each time, before Jake Sanderson called game and fired home the OT winner. Ridly Greig and Mark Kastelic both scored for the Sens, and Joonas Korpisalo made 19 saves in the victory.

For the 20th game this season, the Sens allowed a goal on one of the first 2 shots against. (It's happened 21 times, but that's because one game the Sens allowed a goal on each of their first two shots.) It was just a defensive breakdown, mostly by the fourth line. The forecheck disrupted the D-to-D pass from Sanderson to Zub, and somehow those two plus Kastelic ended up below the goal line with no winger support, leaving Hendrix Lapierre alone in front to feed Max Pacioretty who was also alone in front for an easy goal.

This came after Jakob Chychrun had saved a sure goal on an egregious giveaway behind the net by Joonas Korpisalo, sliding across to made a skate save. Other than that though, it was​ a pretty quiet period, with total shots on goal finishing 5–4 for Ottawa. Ridly Greig seemed to generate nearly all the offensive chances for Ottawa.

The second period started with the Sens killing off a pretty lengthy 5-on-3. This included Claude Giroux getting tossed out of a faceoff and Jake Sanderson suffering the rare faceoff loss as a defenceman. Mark Kastelic later got the Sens on the board with a gorgeous backhand-shelf deke that would've made Frans Nielsen proud.

Every time I feel like I'm done with him in the NHL, he makes a move like that and I'm reminded there's a reason he's a pro hockey player. Kastelic got another beauty tip in front, but Charlie Lindgren was equal to it. Then, Mathieu Joseph had an incredible amount of patience to set up Claude Giroux, but Lindgren outwaited it.

Just as it looked like Ottawa was having the better period, Korpisalo made a save on a Trevor van Riemsdyk point shot but had no idea where the rebound went, and Aliaksei Protas potted it into an empty cage. One step forward, one step backwards.

The third period saw the teams trade powerplays, but nobody was threatening to score. The goalies were strong, and the penalty killers were bending but not breaking. However, just as yet another Sens powerplay ended, Greig managed to rip one through a Mathieu Joseph screen. The Capitals called a timeout to decide if they wanted to challenge for goalie interference and/or offside, but elected not to. Suddenly it was a tie game with 6 minutes to play.

I thought the teams would play for OT, especially given Washington's need for any and all points in the standings, but there were good chances at each end that required the goalies to sprawl and snow angel to keep the puck out.

Overtime didn't last very long. The Sens took possession and didn't give it up. Tkachuk, Greig, and Sanderson played keep-away in the offensive zone, until Sanderson fired in a wrister while Tkachuk offered the screen. Lindgren never saw it, and that did it for the game.

The Sens came away with a win against a team desperately fighting for their playoff lives. That left Detroit (yuck) with a one-point lead over Pittsburgh, Washington, and Philadelphia for the final Wild Card spot, all with five games remaining (except for Philly who have just four).

Game Thoughts:

  • One of Joonas Korpisalo's weaknesses seems to be his puck-tracking. He gets beat on low-danger chances more than the average, and a few times tonight he couldn't track a rebound and either got bailed out or the Sens cleared it. I'm no expert, but I think being able to see the puck well is pretty important when you're a goalie. In fairness to him though, he did make several good in-tight saves, which just adds to my 100% true theory that he's problematically near-sighted.
  • Things are bleak when Kelly-Kastelic-Katchouk, the fourth line of a couple weeks ago, is your third line because Smejkal-MacEwen-Imama is definitely the fourth line. Kind of impressive that the Sens managed to make this close with only 7 forwards that Jacques Martin would normally want to play more than 10 minutes in a game.
  • In addition to Kastelic's silky mitts tonight, I was also surprisingly impressed with Mathieu Joseph's game. Matty Jo always plays a solid two-way game, but tonight he created some offence himself.
  • The PK was strong tonight, not an easy task against Alex Ovechkin when he's surging.
  • Thomas Chabot played only 18:13 tonight – an unusually low number if he is healthy. If he's not....why is he playing? If he is, it'll be interesting to see if the low (for him) ice time continues.

Game Flow:

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