The Ottawa Senators received head coach Guy Boucher’s message, as the team offered a much more convincing performance against the San Jose Sharks this time around. Although they were unable to get the full two points, the Senators showed character, determination and resilience, and never allowed a setback to discourage them.
It was a game of special teams, as there was a total of 71 penalty minutes. Ottawa was able to kill off all of their penalties while scoring a power-play goal. They were able to match the Sharks in almost every aspect of the game, which they hope can give them momentum and confidence for upcoming games.
The Senators were able to kill off their first penalty of the game, but Tom Pyatt was unable to get back into the play soon enough as Joe Pavelski scored from a pass by Logan Couture. It would be the 21st time that the Senators allowed the first goal of the game.
Boucher seemed to be pleased with his team’s effort in the period. They worked well as a five-man unit playing in each zone and played a tight-checking game. The players supported each other very well and rarely left a player hanging. Ottawa responded quickly after allowing the first goal, as Bobby Ryan was able to break his goalless drought, receiving a pass from Ryan Dzingel and shot it quickly through Martin Jones’ legs to tie the game up.
At 3:34 of the second period, Chris Neil sat in the penalty box for his 2 499 career penalty minutes, and the Senators went on the penalty kill for the third time. Ottawa gained some momentum killing off that penalty and managed a couple of great shorthanded chances. They went on the power-play a few minutes later and added to that momentum.
However, they were flat-footed after the Sharks’ Micheal Haley laid a big body check on Jean-Gabriel Pageau. The Sens players on the ice took too long observing the hit and allowed Brent Burns to drive to the net and slip the puck underneath goalie Mike Condon to put the Sharks back in front.
Ottawa’s cycle game came out on top in the second period, with many instances where the Senators held on to the puck in the offensive zone and controlled possession. The Sens showed their resilience as they found a way to tie the game again with a goal by Kyle Turris.
The Senators would start the third period on the penalty kill without their top centre, as Turris was serving an instigating and misconduct penalties from late in the second period. Luckily, the Sharks were called for their fourth hooking penalty, negating Ottawa’s penalty.
Penalty trouble would continue to follow the Senators closely, as Mike Hoffman went to the dressing room for five minutes after cross-checking Logan Couture in the back of the head. The Sharks would put the puck in the net, but the Senators called a coach’s challenge for a missed offside call, overturning the call on the ice.
The disallowed goal along with killing off the penalty would pay dividends for the Sens, as they received another power-play soon after with a little over five minutes left in the game. Dion Phaneuf scored on a pass from Erik Karlsson after a great individual effort along the boards, and the Senators had their first lead of the game.
The lead would not last long, however, as Chris Tierney had the puck land right on his stick as he stood in front of the net and banked it in to tie the game at 3-3 just over a minute later.
The overtime period was much of the same, despite all the extra space on the ice. There was a lot of cycling and not a lot of rush plays. The open ice did not deter penalties, and the Senators got caught on a bad change for too many men on the ice. Luckily for Ottawa, the penalty was called with less than a minute left in the overtime frame, so they did not have to suffer the kill for long. The clock wound down and the game went to a shootout.
Both goaltenders stood tall, and neither gave the shooters much room. Kevin LaBanc scored the lone goal with a nice pump-fake shot to slide it under Condon and give the Sharks another shootout victory.
SJ – Joe Pavelski (10) assisted by Logan Couture (9) & Joe Thornton (17)
OTT – Bobby Ryan (4) assisted by Ryan Dzingel (9) & Dion Phaneuf (8)
SJ – Brent Burns (13) assisted by Brenden Dillon (2)
OTT – Kyle Turris (12) assisted by Stone (12) & Mike Hoffman
OTT – Dion Phaneuf (4) PPG assisted by Erik Karlsson (21) & Mark Stone (13)
SJ – Chris Tierney (12) assisted by Brent Burns (15) & David Schlemko (6)
OTT – Kyle Turris – Save
SJ – Mikkel Boedker – Miss
OTT – Bobby Ryan – Save
SJ – Joe Pavelski – Save
OTT – Erik Karlsson – Save
SJ – Brent Burns – Miss
OTT – Chris Neil – Save
SJ – Kevin LaBanc – Goal
THW Three Stars
First: Brent Burns (1 goal, 1 assist, 3 SOG, 27:12 TOI)
Second: Dion Phaneuf (1 goal, 1 assist, 4 SOG, 26:01 TOI)
Third: Joe Pavelski (1 goal, 6 shots, 24:28 TOI)
Ottawa Senators vs. New Jersey Devils
Canadian Tire Centre – 7:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, December 17, 2016
Broadcast Channels: SN360, MSG+
Season series: First match-up of the season