Sens Go Out on a High Note

Anton Forsberg was a brick wall while Jiri Smejkal potted his first NHL goal in Ottawa's road win in the season finale.

Sens Go Out on a High Note
Photo by Rivage / Unsplash

Well, here we are. A full season in the bag with, once again, no playoffs to show for it. To say this year had its ups and downs would be an understatement but we'll save the eulogy for another day.

The first period of this one was surprisingly lopsided, other than the scoreboard. The Senators outshot the Bruins 11 to 3 while posting an impressive 70.37 CF%. As has been the case many times this season, however, all of that didn't matter much considering the score of the game was a pair of goose eggs through twenty.

Around halfway through the second period, the Senators struck first with Jiri Smejkal slipping his first NHL goal past Linus Ullmark. An out of position official called no goal, but this was quickly corrected. Zack MacEwen knew this, as he collected the puck while the officials changed the call.

Very cool to see Smejkal pot his first goal in the final game of the season. At this point, it's unclear where the Czech winger will play next season but it's far from a guarantee that it's in the NHL.

On the very next shift, Jake Chychrun made this one even more fun as a turnover at Ottawa's blueline led to a three on two back the other direction. Chychrun finished a cross ice Drake Batherson pass for his 14th of the year.

Anton Forsberg came up big on a number of occasions through the remainder of the period, keeping the Bruins without a goal. The Sens were ahead by two with one stanza left in their season.

The Bruins were back in the game in the third period, getting the bulk of the shots, and grade A chances on their side of the stats columns. Forsberg, once again, bailed his team out. Finally, with just over seven minutes to play, Pavel Zacha broke Forsberg's shutout with a powerplay marker.

Following that goal, it went right back to Forsberg. He made two incredible saves late in the third, including this one:

The Senators couldn't make this easy on themselves as Shane Pinto found himself in the box with 3:30 to play. Down just one goal, why not give Forsberg more work to do. He's your best guy already, might as well just let him do his thing I guess?

And he did just that. The Bruins played catch around the perimeter while getting the occasional puck on net. Forbserg stopped everything, including a point blank wrister from David Pastrnak.

Fans on their couches got to chant Zuuuuuuuub just once more as the fan favourite defender tossed an empty net goal on the board, giving Ottawa a 3-1 lead late in the game.

And thus, the Senators would end the season with a gritty road win, featuring stellar goaltending and a first NHL goal.


Game Notes

  • On the second night of a back-to-back, the Senators turned to Anton Forsberg. Early in the game, he was a big reason why the Sens stayed on top. Late in the game, he was the only reason the Sens maintained the lead. He ended things with a tidy .971 SV% on the night.
  • Jiri Smejkal scored his first NHL goal in what could potentially be his final NHL game. The seasoned veteran made his North American professional debut this season after 221 professional games split between Czechia, Sweden and Russia. Only managing 20 games with Ottawa, it's possible we see Smejkal return to Europe shortly.
  • Jakob Chychrun also found the back of the net tonight. Depending on which rumours you believe, it's possible he, too, scored his final goal in an Ottawa uniform. Unlike Smejkal, it's impossible that Chychrun plays in any other league next year. But for Your Ottawa Senators™? Not a guarantee!
  • After the Sens dominated the spreadsheets in the first frame, the Bruins took over posting 72.73% and 81.82% corsi markers in the second and third respectively.
  • While Brady Tkachuk got an assist tonight, he did not register a single shot on goal. The only other time Tkachuk went a game without a shot this season was against Vancouver on November 9th.
  • Thomas Chabot left the game after being on the receiving end of a solid open ice hit. Given that it's game 82 of a lost season, it's unsurprising that the injury riddled alternate captain didn't return.
  • The line of Ridly Greig, Claude Giroux and Mathieu Joseph had a solid night for the Sens. I don't know what it is but, more often than not, when Giroux and Greig are playing together, good things happen. Something to consider for next season, I'd say.
  • Things unwound a bit in the third period but for the most part, the Senators played a pretty tight system tonight even when they were being outplayed.

Game Flow

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