Now it’s more like that.
That’s exactly the kind of performance you want to see from an Ottawa Senators team missing Drake Batherson, Josh Norris and Connor Brown. A solid 60-minute effort that, while far from perfect, had all the key ingredients needed to take another two points from Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.
Fantastic goalkeeper? To verify.
Secondary score? To verify.
The rebounds follow their way? To verify.
A superstar performance? German.
Early in the game, the two teams were trading penalties – a snappy call on Warren Foegele was followed by a minor Ottawa bench for too many men, and both PK units did a good job of preventing any kind of mishap. violation of either power play.
After Ottawa’s penalty expired, Tim Stützle would lose the puck in the offensive zone, but a last-minute lunge on the backcheck thwarted the Oilers’ odd run, and seconds later…
That’s why we’re all so excited about this kid’s potential. His production has been great for a 20-year-old on a weaker team, but what’s really impressive is his willingness to make a difference in every square inch of the rink. A desperate dive into his own end saves a potential Edmonton goal, and Chabot’s subsequent tally is created by Stützle going all the way to the blue paint and causing mischief past Mikko Koskinen.
Also, you love seeing Chabot’s shot percentage regress towards the average. He deserves at least a few more if you ask me.
All of this, however, preceded an untimely line change, followed by the Matt Murray Special.
For one thing, he’s the best hockey player on the planet, and of all the things he can do, a slapshot from the face-off spot is the last thing you’d expect here. However, with the Senators’ offense effectively neutralized by their injuries and lack of top-end depth, Murray would have to be much better to give them a chance at victory.
Right off the bat in the second period, Murray had plenty of opportunities to bounce back from his team, and he delivered. Leon Draisaitl had a breakaway opportunity in the opening minutes, and the Senators were extremely lucky to see the puck wobble on his stick, significantly limiting the threat level of the shot.
Later, after Murray stood on the penalty spot with Erik Brännström in the box for hooking, the Oilers continued to swarm the Senators on their own, but the latter did a good job preventing the shots on goal, and Stützle then challenged Koskinen. with two tight shots, the last of which was created by him stripping the puck from Draisaitl. Koskinen’s solid effort was answered by Murray, who stopped McDavid on a breakaway.
With 4:27 left in the period, Evan Bouchard would be handed a hook penalty to Nick Paul, and although Ottawa’s ‘top power play unit’ looked much better than before, they couldn’t really threaten Koskinen before replacing for the second unit. . Brännström took advantage of the extra space to move for a good try on Koskinen, and Paul was all over the rebound. Even with half of the top six eliminated, the Senators take a 2-1 lead thanks to their second power-play unit.
With the Sens up 2-1, they got another good break, as the Oilers failed to get a shot on goal in a 3-on-1 run with McDavid being one of three .
Ottawa killed its third straight power play to start the third period, but the Oilers had several good chances right after. Murray had to be solid once again and went on to more than make up for that 1-1 goal in the first.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t keep the team afloat for long in the third. After Chabot mishandled the puck on a rushing chance, the Oilers drove the puck the other way, and Derek Ryan played a nice pass to Darnell Nurse, who made no mistakes on a wide-open net.
It confirms what I saw tonight – the biggest issue for Ottawa has been their inability to consistently create chances in the run, as well as extended possession in the offensive zone. A turnover from Tkachuk on a point opportunity led to an Oilers breakaway earlier in the game, and a similar mistake cost the team their lead.
Midway through the period, a fight ensued between Oilers defenseman William Lagesson and who i was thinking was Austin Watson. It wasn’t until I saw the entire Ottawa jersey that I realized it was actually TIM STUTZLE WHAT IS HAPPENING I DON’T EVEN KNOW
At the time, I thought that was a bit reckless of our best striker – and I still think so. However, I can also agree that this only adds to his legendary performance tonight. More on that later.
Nurse would give a last-minute scare to the 500 Canadian Tire Center fans, but his shot was blocked and regulation time expired seconds later with a score of two apiece.
Ottawa started the overtime period with possession and Alex Formenton quickly raced onto the ice in a 2-on-1 with Paul, but the former stoked his shot attempt. Tkachuk would have another chance on a 2-on-1, but Koskinen kept him out of the net. Draisaitl and Zach Hyman combined for a 2-on-1 the other way, and after Murray stopped them, Tkachuk and Stützle followed suit to no avail.
McDavid then walked onto the ice and Paul, who did an incredible job of staying between himself and Murray, preventing him from maneuvering around him to get to the net.
The puck would go the other way, and with Koskinen on his pads to take away a low net-side attempt, it was none other than Tim Stützle who quickly changed his angle and fired the puck over the shoulder to give Ottawa the 3-2 victory in overtime.
Hell, when people called the 2020 NHL Draft a “franchise shift” for the Senators, they weren’t kidding.
- Ottawa’s best player tonight? It definitely went back and forth between Tim Stützle and Matt Murray. The new number one center was often the most dangerous player and came as close to a Gordie Howe hat-trick as he likely ever will in his career. As for Murray, he stopped 37 of his 39 games tonight and was a shorthanded stallion, who went 3-for-3. He is now 4-0-2 in his last 6 games with a save percentage. stops of 0.939 during this period. Can he maintain this level of play while staying healthy? It would be huge for the team in the future.
- Nick Paul also deserves crazy props, not only for being a crucial secondary scoring source, but also for holding McDavid in OT. Keep this man in Ottawa at all costs, Pierre.
- According to NaturalStatTrick, Nick Holden and Artem Zub were mostly pitted against McDavid and his linemates, and the pair did a fantastic job with an expected goal share of 63.51 at 5-5? What?!?!
- In the second half of a straight streak, the Senators will finally be able to play against a team that has had as much trouble with COVID-19 as they have — they will visit the New York Islanders on Feb. at 7:30 p.m. EST.