Short Kings DeBrincat and Brännström Lead Senators To 7-2 Victory Over Lightning
DeBrincat scored two and Brännström scored one in a massive win for short people everywhere
It doesn’t get more “Ottawa Senators Hockey” than showing up big against one of the top teams in the NHL soon after pretty much ending their playoff chances with a string of horrific losses to bad teams. Gotta love this team!
For real though, that was a lot of fun, and it was nice to see the team show up big for the Nick Paul Return Game.
The Sens started out the game slowly but picked up the pace in no time. The moment they were able to actually get some shots on net, it became clear that our old friend Brian Elliott wasn’t quite up to his old sens-killing ways.
Indeed, Ottawa took a long time to get their first shot of the game, but the first goal followed in no time, with a great sequence that started with Greig almost scoring and ended with Alex DeBrincat finding the back of the net. 1-0 Ottawa.
1️⃣9️⃣ ➡️ 1️⃣2️⃣ ➡️ 🥅🚨#GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/d4OvP9OFIm— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 23, 2023
The Sens dominated the next stretch, clearly the better team as they almost scored over and over again. It took almost no time for DeBrincat to score again, his second of the game. Has he finally been un-cursed, 72 games in? 2-0 Ottawa.
Cat doing Cat things! 😸🚨#GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/0SsJaGq9Oc— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 23, 2023
The rest of the period was full of odd-man rushes, which we’re used to as Sens fans, but the odd-man rushes were all in the sens’ favour, which we’re definitely not used to. Even a powerplay for Tampa Bay didn’t phase the surging Senators, as we got our customary Tim Stützle Shorthanded Scoring Chance™, which at this point appears to be a necessity in every Sens penalty kill.
Naturally, the Sens were bad again when they took the ice for the second period.
An early powerplay for Tampa forced Sogaard to make some big stops, and after seven minutes of play, the Lightning were outshooting the Sens 8-0 in the period.
A Pinto breakaway finally gave the Sens some life, even though he was stopped. The Sens clearly wanted a penalty shot, but didn’t get one.
Ottawa soon ended up on the powerplay, a great opportunity to pick themselves back up. The powerplay went well, and Tim Stützle hit the post on a phenomenal chance, but it was not to be.
To add insult to injury, Point scored for Tampa Bay right after the penalty expired, cutting the Sens’ lead in two. 2-1 Ottawa.
The good news is that the Senators had been looking a lot better since that Pinto breakaway, and the Tampa goal didn’t change that. DeBrincat got into it with Patrick Maroon, and the latter ended up being assessed a misconduct. The last few minutes of the period brought an absolutely electric Sens powerplay, that looked destined to score but didn’t quite manage it until the dying seconds, as Derick Brassard put the Sens back ahead by two. 3-1 Ottawa.
Brass put heat behind this one! 🔥🚨 3-1 #Sens#GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/Lmog63Zm0p— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 24, 2023
Things got chippy once again as time expired, this time with Victor Hedman blatantly slewfooting Chychrun, and the Sens taking issue with it.
Brady Tkachuk started things off on a good note for Ottawa, jamming the puck at the net and very nearly adding to the Sens’ lead.
Unfortunately, he would soon regret that missed opportunity, as his buddy Tim Stützle lost his temper after getting harassed by a Lightning player, and got himself sent to the penalty box. The penalty kill missed Stützle dearly, conceding a goal in no time. 3-2 Ottawa.
It’s okay, though, because after that something incredible happened. Something so amazing it’s almost beyond description. Erik Brännström, our little guy, went coast-to-coast and created a goal all on his own - just his second of the season. Just watch the video. My goodness. 4-2 Ottawa.
Branny goes coast-to-coast! 🚨#GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/5TNX3HxFJX— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 24, 2023
Another Lightning powerplay was killed off, and more shenanigans ensued after the whistle. The Sens got a powerplay of their own out of it, as the whole thing had started with a Tampa player shooting the puck after the whistle. The captain pulled through on the powerplay, setting a new career high with his 31st goal of the season. 5-2 Ottawa.
Goal no. 31, a new career high for the Tkaptain! 👏🚨#GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/ZsSktur2FX— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 24, 2023
In a desperate attempt to keep the game under control, Lightning coach Jon Cooper pulled a move that long-time Sens fans are all too familiar with, pulling the goaltender with over six minutes left to play. The extra skater had barely left the bench when Brady Tkachuk took advantage, skating the puck right into the empty net for his second of the game. That’s two Sens players on hat trick watch. 6-2 Ottawa.
Tkachuk nets his second of the night after a great effort by Stützle! #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/PnfBfEd3eg— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) March 24, 2023
Then Austin Watson scored, for some reason. 7-2 Ottawa.
Austin Watson makes it a touchdown! #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/y5NEvPhcBK— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) March 24, 2023
Brian Elliott stayed in the net for the rest of the game, and neither DeBrincat nor Tkachuk managed to get a hat trick. The score held, but you can’t really complain when it’s such a nice score.
- Erik Brännström had one hell of a game. It was great to see him play with so much confidence, and that goal was so so good.
- Alex DeBrincat was also on fire. The whole second line was, actually, but him especially. We’ve been through this too many times this season for me to expect this to be the start of an upward trend for him, but it was very satisfying to see the pucks finally going in for him tonight.
- The team in front of him was quite good and definitely the reason the Sens won, but I do think it’s worth noting that Sogaard made all the stops he needed to and kept the Sens in it during the few stretches where they were caved in by the Lightning. Considering how things went for him during that road trip, this is a big step forward and it’s really nice to see him able to bounce back./