I won’t lie: if I hadn’t been writing the recap for this one, I’m not sure I would have made it through the whole game. It was bad for a little while there.
But I guess it was a fun game after all, so... thanks, Sens?
Experience Ottawa Senators hockey!
If you thought the Sens would play well tonight knowing that they needed a win after that disastrous Florida trip, you would be wrong. Also, why would you think that in the first place?
Each team got a good chance in the first few minutes of the game, and then an early Arizona powerplay lasted only a few seconds, as the Coyotes scored right off the faceoff. 1-0 Arizona.
The Sens got an opportunity to get one back with a powerplay soon after going down 1-0, but did not manage to get the equalizer.
Unfortunately, the Sens’ penalty troubles continued, as Brady Tkachuk went to the box for a high stick, even though he didn’t actually hit the guy. Not a great look for the refs, but in fairness he probably shouldn’t have had his stick up that high. Connor Brown got a breakaway on the penalty kill, but couldn’t score.
A defensive breakdown followed after the penalty expired, and Clayton Keller capitalized to double the Coyotes’ lead. 2-0 Arizona.
At the end of the period, the Sens failed to score on a 3-on-1, and then found themselves shorthanded once again after Austin Watson got into a fight. They would start the second at 5 on 4.
Alex Formenton and Connor Brown created yet another excellent shorthanded scoring chance, but couldn’t finish. As is typical of this team, things fell off the rails as soon as the penalty was killed off. A series of mistakes ended up at the back of Ottawa’s net, as Schmaltz got his second of the night. 3-0 Arizona.
When the Lightning and Panthers are trapping you in your own zone all night, that’s understandable. When the 2021-22 Arizona Coyotes are doing it, something is seriously wrong with you.
But we already knew that about the Sens. That’s why we love them.
The shots actually favoured Ottawa at this point, but they weren’t getting many quality chances. The biggest problem, though, was all the egregious mistakes in their own zone. Even for this team, it was bad.
Another one of those mistakes resulted in a First NHL Goal against. 4-0 Arizona.
Josh Brown sure does provide a lot in the defensive zone, right? pic.twitter.com/H3tBJlr7mM— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) March 5, 2022
As is typical of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, the moment everyone fully gave up on them was also the moment they turned things around. Parker Kelly got the Sens on the board with a shot that probably shouldn’t have gone in, but hey, we’ll take it! 4-1 Arizona.
A Sens powerplay followed right after that first goal, and Norris scored with a one-timer from his spot. It’s good to have him back! 4-2 Arizona.
Less than a minute later, Parker Kelly scored his second of the game to pull the team within one. That’s three assists for Chabot in less than three minutes, for anyone counting. 4-3 Arizona.
Suddenly, we had ourselves a game!
Score effects were very much happening now that it was a one goal game. The defensive breakdowns most certainly did not stop happening, but Murray made some key stops - notably, one on a Coyotes breakaway.
Less than a minute into the final frame, the Sens completed the comeback from down 4 goals, off the most “Tim Stützle and Alex Formenton” sequence ever: Timmy took his time setting up a great shot, and Formenton showed off his blinding speed by getting to the net and tapping in the equalizer. 4-4.
The goals just kept coming. Right after tying things up the Sens managed to take the lead. This time, it was Nick Paul finding the back of the net, and making up for what had up until that point been a pretty rough game for him. 5-4 Ottawa.
Sure. Why not?
Naturally, Ottawa gave up a few heart-stopping scoring chances right after takign the lead, but they also got a few chances of their own, because it was just one of those games. Anyone could have won.
Still less than five mintues into the frame, another breakdown in the Ottawa zone found the back of the Sens’ net. This time, Matt Murray was the culprit, leaving his net on some secret mission only he understood, and leaving Clayton Keller with a wide open net. 5-5.
Nick Paul then went to the penalty box for delay of game, and the Coyotes took back the lead with yet another powerplay goal on yet another defensive breakdown. 6-5 Arizona.
We still had 13 minutes left on the clock, by the way.
A few minutes of heart-stopping hockey later, Zub hooked a guy on a breakaway and put his team shorthanded yet again.
Ottawa killed off that penalty, but, naturally, made more defensive mistakes, eventually giving up another goal, this time to Shane Gostisbehere. 7-5 Arizona.
As time wound down, the Coyotes scored yet again, to make the score 8-5 Arizona.
The Sens got a few good chances with the net empty, but it was too late to pull off another comeback.
At the end of the day, it was an entertaining game, and it was a great show for the Coyotes fans on pride night. The Sens lost, but they lost in the name of gay rights.
- Connor Brown had himself a hell of a game. He was the only Sens player who really looked like he was trying in that opening period, and could have had several shorthanded goals.
- As previously mentioned, Chabot registered a career-high three assists in that second period comeback.
- Obviously, I also have to give a shoutout to Parker Kelly for his first multi-point game in the NHL. He did great work getting the comeback started.
- I’m not even going to put effort into pointing out which players were bad. They were all bad. So bad. Specifically in their own zone. What even was that?/