To say the Sens needed that win would be an understatement.
In the grand scheme of things, a three-game losing streak is hardly the end of the world. In the context of the way the Ottawa Senators have started every single season for years, a losing streak of any kind in the months of October or November is very much the end of the world. With three defensemen out with injuries, they needed to put a stop to the losing streak before it got out of control. And that's exactly what they did.
The first period was a lovely change of pace compared to what we’ve been seeing from the Sens lately. Instead of playing well but getting goalie’d, they sucked, but got the opposite of goalie’d. Jarry just handed them two goals. All the Sens had to do was sort of hang around the net a little bit and, oops, the puck was in the net. Ideal hockey game.
The second period went much better. Hamonic scored, but it was called back because of the offside rule, and just to make sure the Penguins were thoroughly embarrassed, Kubalik scored his first as a Senator. That was the end of Jarry’s night. Chasing the goalie seemed to reinvigorate the Sens, as they started to actually look good for the first time all night.
Of course, that was when the Penguins actually scored their first goal of the game. It sucked to see the Sens not rewarded for their efforts, but on the bright side, the game felt totally manageable by the time the Penguins finally got past Korpisalo.
For the third period, they tried out something new: playing well and scoring goals! We finally saw some urgency as Brady Tkachuk pulled off a filthy move right by the net for his second of the night, and not long after, Drake Batherson made it 5-1 on a breakaway.
The Penguins scored in the dying seconds of the game, but that was it. The Sens pulled off an easy win, despite playing terribly in the first period.
- Ridly Greig continues his strong start, with a goal and an assist. He now leads all NHL rookies in points.
- Brady’s little shrug after scoring his goal was too funny.
- I’m still not sure what to think of Korpisalo. After his first few games I was wondering if the problem was that he’s used to playing for a team that gives up a lot of shots and didn’t know how to adjust to a team that doesn’t give up a lot of shots. The results tonight suggest that might have been the case. At the same time, though, he remains a difficult goalie to watch, as he’s always giving up big rebounds and making saves look more difficult than they are.
- As if the Sens needed any more injuries on defense, Chychrun got hurt blocking a shot in the second period. He finished the game, though, so hopefully it wasn’t too serious.
- The first line has been a bit quiet lately, so it was nice to see them on their game tonight. I still feel like something is off with Timmy, but those two Tkachuk goals were so big.
- It's a good thing the rest of the team was on their game, because the Hamonic-Sanderson pairing was not good. I'm starting to wonder how many calder votes Sanderson would have gotten if he'd had a different defense partner in his first season.