Welcome, everyone, to the very first game recap of Silver Seven 2.0. I was hoping for something fun to write about to kick off the new site, and then I regretted wishing for that about halfway through the third period of tonight's game.
This game had everything: drama, weird storylines, first NHL games, fights, career milestones, failed comebacks. Pure entertainment, in true Ottawa Senators fashion.
What more could you expect from the first meeting between Brady Tkachuk and Brendan Lemieux since The Bite?
The game was electric right from the start, with James Van Reimsdyk hitting the post on a breakaway before three minutes had elapsed. It was Talbot’s first big test since coming back from injury, and oh boy was it an omen for what was to come.
Lemieux later threw a massive hit on Pinto, blatantly targeting the latter’s head, and getting himself sent to the penalty box. If you had forgotten about that storyline before the start of the game, first of all, you and I are very different people, but second of all, that would serve as a very unwelcome reminder.
The Sens didn’t score on that particular powerplay, but that’s okay, because it’s like the moment they got into the offensive zone for the man advantage, they decided they liked it there and didn’t want to leave. They absolutely dominated the rest of the first period, with multiple heart-stopping scoring chances, many of them courtesy of Tim Stützle. That early breakaway would end up being the only real Flyers scoring chance of the first frame.
It was Austin Watson who finally broke through for the Sens. 1-0 Ottawa.
Travis Hamonic was injured on the same play, and ended up missing the rest of the game. It takes a lot to keep that guy out of the game, so I hope he's okay.
The Flyers didn’t even get a shot on goal in the last 12 minutes of the period. Can someone in the advanced stats community tell us if that’s g-
Giroux closed out the period with a bid for the funniest goal of the season. You see what you threw away, Flyers?
Unfortunately, the good vibes just couldn’t last. The Flyers converted on an early powerplay - their first shot of the period, and only their third of the game. 1-1.
The Sens got back to their extremely dominant ways, and the Flyers responded by gooning it up. Tony DeAngelo briefly sent DeBrincat to the dressing room with a big hit.
Not long after that hit, Tim Stützle finally broke through, tipping in a Holden point shot for his 37th(!) of the year. I’m sure he was extra motivated to play well tonight, and show Claude Giroux’s old family why Claude loves him more. 2-1 Ottawa.
Then things got silly.
Alex DeBrincat gave an already energetic crowd even more to get excited about - and fired up the bench to a hilarious extent - by fighting… Joel Farabee?
The Cat more than held his own in the fight, and it was such an unlikely matchup for the first fight of the game that I think everyone kind of lost their minds a little bit.
Austin Watson and Nic DeLauriers were next to try to get in on the action, and as is tradition, Watson lost. Then DeLaurieurs turned his attention to Mark Kastelic, jumping right into the second fight before he could even be escorted to the penalty box. For one fleeting but glorious moment, it looked like we were headed for a line brawl. Alas, it was not to be.
Tkachuk also had words with Lemieux, as if he was worried we’d forget about his blood feud amid all the silliness. As if we could ever forget.
The Sens ended up on the powerplay two more times after all that madness had died down just a little bit, but honestly you couldn’t really tell the difference between the Sens on the powerplay and at even strength because, and I cannot stress this enough, the Flyers did not get another shot on goal for almost the rest of the period after DeAngelo’s goal.
In fairness, the Sens didn’t end up getting many shots in the second period either. There was not a lot of hockey being played, generally.
Pinto finally scored toward the end of the period - his 20th of the season. 3-1 Ottawa.
Unfortunately, the celebration was short-lived, as Derick Brassard was injured on the play and needed to be carried off the ice by his teammates. Something looked like it might be broken, and it’s tough to think about what that might mean for his career. Completely sucked the life out of a game that had been so much fun until then.
We got another goal right at the start of the period, and this time it was for the good guys. Claude Giroux continued to show off in front of the children he raised then put up for adoption so he could find a better family.. 4-1 Ottawa.
Also, shoutout to Tyler Kleven, who made his NHL debut and got his first point on Giroux's goal. So much happened in the game that that storyline was kind of lost.
Tragically, the Flyers did bounce back almost immediately after G’s goal. Talbot absolutely should have had that goal, and the one before it to be honest. This should have been the easiest shutout of his career. If I'm being very charitable, I'll point out that a lot of goaltenders struggle when they don’t face a lot of shots. That still can’t happen. 4-2 Ottawa.
Then Talbot let in another one. 4-3 Ottawa.
If you weren’t able to watch the game, it is very important that you understand that this absolutely should not have been a one-goal game. The shots were hilariously lopsided and still did not do justice to how uneven the game had been. The Flyers are good off the rush and tend to win games they don’t deserve to win. That was not the case in this game. There were almost no Flyers chances. Even the ones that went in weren’t really scoring chances. The shot clock didn’t count all the missed nets and posts for the Sens, some of which were on breakaways. An EBUG could have posted a better save percentage than Talbot did in this game.
Anyways, G missed on another incredible chance a bit over halfway through the period that could have salted it away for good. But, for a little while, it looked like the Sens might just hold on. If you don’t give the Flyers any shots on goal, they can't score. Right?
The tying goal wasn't as egregious as the previous ones had been, but it's ridiculous that the Sens were even in that position. 4-4.
There were only a few minutes left to play in regulation at that point, and while the Sens got a few chances to take back the lead, they didn't pull it off, which meant that we were headed to...
They won. That's all that matters. They won, because Alex DeBrincat scored a beautiful goal, and they got two points, and we can all forget that third period happened.
- It is customary that when a rookie plays his first NHL game, you write something about him in this section, but I'm going to be real with you all: there was so much going on in that game that I had no time to watch Tyler Kleven. I think he was good? Nobody on the Ottawa Senators had to play any defense tonight. Let's run it back and evaluate his performance next game.
- Cam Talbot... why.
- As always, Tim Stützle was very, very good.
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