Rangers Snap Losing Skid in Ottawa

With the sliding Rangers in town, the Ottawa Senators couldn’t build off the strong end to their road trip and dropped another important pair of points to another Eastern Conference team.

After securing two wins to round out their West Coast road trip, the Senators returned to the Canadian Tire Centre for the first game of a home-and-home with the skidding New York Rangers. Fresh off three losses in a row, the Rangers turned to Jaroslav Halak as their goaltender. Since Halak had yet to win a game this season, the feeling around Sens Twitter was that the Rangers’ netminder would post a 40 save shut out. Let’s see what happened.

The first period looked very familiar to the faithful at the CTC. The Sens played well, outshot and outchanced their opponent, but ended up surrendering the first goal of the game nonetheless. I’m not sure what else you could have wanted here, as a double deflection magically landed on the stick of Jimmy Vesey who buried the first of the game past Cam Talbot.

This was the only goal of the period and the home town team went into the locker room trailing by one - another familiar feeling.

The second period was much like the first. The Sens were the better team while not being able to capitalize on any chances. About five minutes into the period, the team thought they broke open the scoring when Derick Brassard snuck a puck between the legs of Halak. Unfortunately, while it looked like it may have crossed the line, it was never reviewed and the score remained 1-0.

At the halfway point, Barclay Goodrow redirected another harmless point shot to give New York a two goal lead.

After some back and forth, the Halak shutout attempt was finally foiled as Shane Pinto ripped his ninth of the year past the veteran netminder.

This was an important goal for the rookie who has been ice cold since the opening stretch of the season that saw him score seven goals in his first nine games.

The second frame wasn’t dominant from a possession standpoint, as the Rangers turned the table a bit. That being said, the Sens were strong in so many facets. While they went to the room once again down a goal, they should have had every opportunity to come away with two points with 20 minutes to go.

To open the third, Alex DeBrincat tossed the puck out of play for a delay of game penalty in the opening few minutes, sending the New York Rangers to the powerplay. While the Rangers managed some chances, and Cam Talbot stood tall, Ottawa was able to successfully kill the penalty. Next up, they had to attempt to regain some semblance of momentum to get themselves back into the game.

In the short term, this was true. The Sens played some good hockey, got pucks to the net and Mark Kastelic created a great chance with a slick move through the Rangers defenders. Unfortunately, with seven minutes left, the Rangers scored another goal by way of deflection. This time it was Chris Kreider getting his stick on another harmless point shot.

The next shift, Drake Batherson, Tim Stützle and Alex DeBrincat got to work and created a fantastic chance - yet another stopped by Jaroslav Halak.

For what felt like the millionth time this season, this game ended with the Ottawa Senators, an empty net, and nothing to show for it.

Game Notes

  • There is absolutely nothing you can drag Cam Talbot for in this loss. His save percentage was solid and despite losing, I don’t know how you look at any of New York’s goals and blame it on the goaltender. Talbot showed up and did his job well.
  • The top pair of Thomas Chabot and Artem Zub got absolutely sewered in possession tonight. Either both missed their pre-game nap or they put oat milk instead of 2% in Chabot’s Americano because by the final buzzer, the Rangers dominated the Senators at even strength with 72 and 2 on the ice.
  • Shane Pinto scored a much needed goal. The last time the rookie found the back of the net was on November 10th when he scored a pair in front of his buddies in New Jersey.
  • Jaroslav Halak came into this game without a win all season and a sub-0.900 SV% so, naturally, he tossed a 0.972 SV% up on the scoreboard to snap New York’s three game losing streak.
  • I’m not sure what Ottawa needs to do with their empty net play but whatever this is, it’s not working. This team spends so much time with the net empty, you’d think they’d be extremely good at it. They get to do it all the time! Alas, with about a minute of 6-on-4 play, the Sens couldn’t get anything done./

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