Senators tame Panthers 5-2

The Sens triumphed over the Panthers in a game that they badly needed to keep their fading play-off hopes alive.

Both teams were hoping for a win to keep their fading playoff hopes alive. For much of the game, the Senators were the team that wanted it more, and when they didn’t, Mads Søgaard was up to the task in net. The Sens got goals from Brady Tkachuk, Erik Brännström, Alex DeBrincat, Tim Stützle, and an empty-netter from Shane Pinto to hand the Panthers their fourth-straight loss in a 5-2 game. Gustav Forsling had both goals for the Panthers, and Sergei Bobrovsky took the loss.

The Sens raced out to a 2-0 lead in the opening frame, thanks to goals from Brady Tkachuk — on a great feed from Thomas Chabot — and then from Erik Brännström on the powerplay.

Chabby doin his dancey dance. That guy is fun to watch - JN9 March 27, 2023
All swedish, can still finish. That's it for me. Thanks for following along, I had fun - JN9 March 28, 2023

Yes, that was Josh Norris on the Twitter account, meaning we learned that Chabot is Chabdaddy, Tkachuk is Chuggy, and Brännström is also a short king for the team. And hey, Brännström now has as many goals (2) in his past three games as in his first 179. The Sens’ powerplay wasn’t done, as Alex DeBrincat scored in the second on a shot that he’s never going to miss from if he’s left there unmarked.

Drake with the no look ➡️ Cat with the bomb! #GoSensGo March 28, 2023

Gustav Forsling had taken a puck to the throat on the Brännström goal, but was definitely no worse for wear, scoring two goals in the game. The Panthers for their part carried the play for the second period, and got their first goal on Forsling’s point shot that took several deflections en route to eluding Søgaard. They probably deserved another, but Søgaard made one his 32 saves by using his huge frame to keep his pad against the far post:

What an effort from Mads Sogaard to keep this one out.

Holds the post and doesn't give up a bad bounce on this one. #Sens #GoSensGo March 28, 2023

The powerplay managed to get one more, going 3/4 on the night, when Tim Stützle one-timed a pass from Travis Hamonic — who got some PP time protecting a late 3-2 lead — through Bobrovsky, who made 21 saves in the loss. There were times it was tense, but the Sens came out decidedly on top.

Notable Performances:

  • Søgaard looks unflappable back there now. I think even just a few days of rest did wonders for him. Rather than flailing, he seems to be tracking the puck and confident he’s gonna make most of the saves.
  • DeBrincat is funny in that there can be stretches I don’t notice him, but he’s always dangerous when he gets the puck in a shooting spot. That goal he scored was textbook.
  • Giroux got an assist on the Stützle goal. He now needs six points over the final eight games to hit 1000 for his career
  • Chabot left the game with an arm injury, but thankfully returned. We saw both the best of him (beautiful dangling to set up the opening goal) and the worst (bobbling the puck behind his own net to set up what should’ve been a goal) in tonight’s game. I still think the good greatly outweighs the bad with this guy, but I know there will always be some who disagree
  • I really dislike the Sportsnet crews for Sens games. Thank goodness we’ve got a couple TSN broadcasts this week after another game where it sounds like the commentators are cheering against Ottawa. We even got a nice three-minute monologue about how Stützle can’t complain about a guy going down easy to draw a penalty since he’s developed a reputation for it. Only like 47 more years they own HNIC rights, right?

Game Flow:

Shot Chart:

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