If the NHL wanted to put on a show for their European fans, they shouldn’t have invited the Minnesota Wild.
I’m sorry for calling out one team here. I have no real beef with them. But let’s be honest here. This game, compared to Thursday’s game? There’s no competition in terms of entertainment value, and I have no choice to conclude that it’s Minnesota’s fault.
In sharp contrast to the beginning of the Sens’ first game of this Global Series, no goals were scored in the first period by either team. The Sens looked very good, though - while the shot clock was pretty even, Ottawa looked much sharper than they had a few days ago.
The second was similarly boring, although the Wild were awarded a penalty shot early on and then later scored the first goal of the game. The Sens didn’t get much going, and the second period ended up being mostly uneventful, with few really dangerous chances on either end. With the way the Sens tend to play while trailing, it was hard not to feel deflated seeing the score, as easy as it might be to overcome. For the last few years, it’s felt like the moment the Sens start losing, the game stops being worth watching. Not the case this time, though!
The third period was far more exciting. It kicked off with a Sens goal so perfectly suited to the moment that you couldn’t have scripted it any better. Anton Forsberg skated a bit out of the crease to play the puck, passed it up the ice to fellow Swede Erik Brännström, and the little guy fired a slapshot right into the net. The game was tied, thanks to the only two Swedish players on the regular roster.
The low-event hockey we saw in the first two periods continued for the rest of the third, and the Sens headed to overtime for the second game in a row. No last minute heroics this time around, as the game went to a shootout. Josh Norris was the only player to score for either team, and so the Sens took home the win.
- Minnesota’s penalty kill was an absolutely awful 63% going into this game. Can you guess how many powerplay goals the Sens scored?
- That’s right. None! The powerplay was very bad. Their first one, which happened in the first period, was probably their best one all game, but it ended with Josh Norris being blatantly tripped as he loaded up a one-timer. No call, unfortunately.
- Brady Tkachuk was on fire in the first period especially. He could have easily had another two-goal game. I no longer believe he is capable of scoring any other number of goals in a game.
- Tim Stützle may not have gotten on the scoreboard this time, but he looked every bit as electric as he did on Thursday. What a player.
- A great game all around for Erik Brännström, who clearly had a bit of extra motivation playing in his home country.