The next six weeks or so at Silver Seven Sens are going to be a bit awkward, as we all try to make sense of today’s news that the site will soon lose its funding from vox media. In the meantime, though the games are still happening, and we plan to keep on providing coverage.
It would have been nice for the Sens to provide us a win, or at least an entertaining game, on this fairly emotional day for so many of their fans. Unfortunately, they love to disappoint us.
Sens fans had high hopes going into this game after the dominant performance the Sens put up against the same team on Wednesday - in a game that was only as close as it was because of goaltending. It came as no surprise, then, when they started the game fairly well, falling behind in shots but certainly looking like they’d be able to win the game.
Unfortunately, things fell apart the moment Travis Hamonic got into a fight and took an instigator penalty in the process. The Penguins wasted no time scoring on the ensuing powerplay. 1-0 Pittsburgh.
It didn’t stop there.
The Penguins scored again before the Sens could even pick themselves back up after the first one. Neither Jacob Bernard-Docker nor Cam Talbot looked good on that play. 2-0 Pittsburgh.
Just like that, the Penguins had an absurd lead in the shot clock, which Ottawa did eventually lessen before the end of the frame. After 20 fairly chaotic minutes, they were trailing by two but still in the game.
Despite keeping the shot clock even, the Sens did not inspire confidence in the second. An early roughing penalty to Watson sent them to the penalty kill, but thankfully this time they managed to keep the Penguins’ offense at bay.
Ottawa got a chance to get back in the game when Evgenii Malkin took down Tim Stützle and complained about it all the way to the penalty box. It’s kind of incredible seeing the two of them share an ice surface. I feel like I finally understand what it’s like to play against Timmy.
Malkin’s penalty was killed off, although Josh Norris did make his presence felt on the powerplay. It’s amazing what a difference he makes on that unit. The Sens didn’t give up any great chances for most of the period, but didn’t really get anything going either. Their most exciting chance was a partial breakaway by Claude Giroux against his old rivals.
In an extremely Sens moment, Ottawa finally got a fantastic scoring chance with about three minutes left in the frame, then immediately gave up a goal at the other end. 3-0 Pittsburgh.
They probably deserved better than the three goal deficit at this point, but not that much better.
Thankfully, Ottawa finally got something going with just over a minute left. Tim Stützle carried the puck into the offensive zone, and created a chance for Brady Tkachuk, who buried the puck despite having lost his glove in the neutral zone. 3-1 Pittsburgh.
After that great end to the second period, the Sens started the third with a powerplay, which produced some great chances but not the crucial second goal. Pittsburgh even came close to scoring a shorthanded goal right at the end, but Jake Sanderson shut it down with all the poise and confidence of a player ten years older than he is.
As expected, that failed powerplay would haunt them, as they once again failed to generate anything significant at 5 on 5. And as is tradition, one big mistake burned them, when Crosby and Guentzel rushed down the ice and got around the first defense pairing to make the score 4-1 Pittsburgh.
Ottawa got another opportunity on the powerplay thanks to Tim Stützle’s otherworldly penalty drawing abilities, but didn’t score on that one, either. They were making the opposing goaltender look amazing, as they tend to do.
If you stopped watching after the fourth Pittsburgh goal, I would not blame you for it at all. You didn’t miss much in terms of scoring chances. You did, however, miss one of the funniest moments of the entire Sens season so far.
Sens forward Mathieu Joseph finally made his return to the lineup tonight, and since the Sens were in Pittsburgh, that meant he was playing against his brother, Pierre-Olivier, for the first time ever. It was a very cute and wholesome moment, with their parents watching from the stands.
And then they got matching high-sticking penalties against each other. Their parents’ reactions were priceless.
Nothing like mom and dad watching on as the Joseph brothers take high sticking penalties against each other. 😂 pic.twitter.com/UVyqWEjNDU— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 21, 2023
This is the first ever edition of the Battle of the Josephs and it has already provided more drama than the Battle of the Tkachuks.
Anyways, nothing else interesting happened for the rest of the game. The Sens lost by three goals in a game they were never truly in.
- I’m sure this is absolutely shocking news to everyone, but Tim Stützle was very good.
- Brady Tkachuk also had a monster of a game, with the lone goal and a few other chances that didn’t go in.
- I believe I’ve started to gain a reputation as a Thomas Chabot apologist, so I might have to tone this down a little bit, but he did actually have a great game, I promise. He walked the blueline very effectively, and was second only to Brady in individual expected goals. See! The stats back it up!
- Erik Brännström was noticeable in a good way, which he isn’t always. He made a really smart defensive play on the penalty kill in the second period, and there were several moments where he skated around everyone.
- Cam Talbot was not the sole reason the Sens lost this game, but after such a poor showing on Wednesday it really would have been nice to see more from him. It feels like he’s had more bad games than good ones recently./