It was a magical night at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Senators retired the No. 11 for the best player the franchise has known. The Detroit Red Wings were the first to show some pace in the game, taking it to Ottawa early. Eventually, the Senators were able to get their feet going and put themselves back into it. Despite a few shifts in momentum, it was a very evenly-played game, with the shots ending at 28-28. The Red Wings would spoil the night, with Anthony Mantha potting the overtime winner.
The Red Wings got the jump early, as it was apparent that the Senators lost some of their energy from sitting around during the retirement ceremony. The Senators were able to only get one far shot on net before the Red Wings made the game 1-0. The visiting team kept the puck away from Ottawa and trapped them in their own zone, as Detroit was a step quicker. With traffic in front, Thomas Vanek was the last to deflect the puck into the net, scoring his seventh of the season.
Marc Borowiecki, being his usual self, delivered a powerful body check against a Red Wings player along the boards. However, it seemed that his timing was just a bit off, as he got a penalty for interference.
Ideal that play paused at 11:11 left in the first, allowing the Senators’ faithful to chant Alfie’s name.
The successful penalty kill seemed to have nudged the Senators awake, as they were finally able to get possession of the puck and start driving play.
The Senators would begin to apply decent pressure against the visitors after the halfway mark, creating a couple of set up plays to give Mike Hoffman two one-time opportunities. Bobby Ryan also got a great chance in front with a quick shot, denied by Coreau’s left pad. Ottawa had seven shots in a row, closing the gap between the two teams in that category.
Great work by Mark Stone pursuing the puck and not letting go behind the net allowed Derick Brassard to score with 16 seconds left in the period.
The goaltenders led the start of the second period. First, Coreau kicked away a deflection by Jean-Gabriel Pageau, followed by Condon making two leg saves in tight against Vanek. That save would lead to an offensive opportunity for the Senators, who would take full advantage. Mark Stone’s line continued their strong board work, as Brassard had the time alone behind the Detroit net to find Stone who shot it off the post and in for his eleventh of the season to give the Senators the lead.
The momentum would shift once again, with the Red Wings re-taking the advantage in possession time. Their transition game would bear fruit, as Henrik Zetterberg would find Thomas Tatar at the offensive blue line for a breakaway, resulting in a goal blocker-side on Condon.
Detroit’s passing had some difficulty on their second power play opportunity. They had several missed passes that caused them to lose precious seconds as they tried to regroup a few times.
The Senators would receive a big opportunity to regain the lead, as they had a two-man advantage that would last for 1:16. The three Red Wings on the ice did a good job keeping the power-play unit to the outside, with Ottawa’s best chance coming from Hoffman missing his shot. The second period would end quietly with Detroit on the power play.
In the third period, the two teams exchanged three power play opportunities between them in addition to the Red Wings power play that carried over from the second. Neither team was able to take advantage while their penalty kill units were superior to their power plays.
The game slowed down in the third, as much of the play concentrated along the boards. It seemed that the two teams were playing with patience, looking only to strike when there was a clear opening in sight. The was little space in the neutral zone, and neither team was able to create a rush. Most of the shots from both sides came from far out and the goaltenders faced no threats as the game went into overtime.
The Red Wings would be the ones to take advantage of their opportunity in overtime, as their only shot on net resulting in Anthony Mantha receiving a pass from Niklas Kronwall, which escaped two Ottawa defenders, and putting it past a diving Condon.
DET – Thomas Vanek (7) assisted by Brendan Smith (3) & Frans Nielsen (11)
OTT – Derick Brassard (8) assisted by Mike Hoffman (15)
OTT – Mark Stone (11) assisted by Derick Brassard (9)
DET – Thomas Tatar (8) assisted by Henrik Zetterberg (18) & Nick Jensen (2)
DET – Anthony Mantha (7) assisted by Niklas Kronwall (3)
THW Three Stars
First: Anthony Mantha (overtime winner)
Second: Derick Brassard (1 goal & 1 assist)
Third: Henrik Zetterberg (1 assist, 20:38 TOI)
Ottawa Senators at Washington Capitals
Verizon Center – 7:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, January 1
Broadcast channels – SN & CSN-DC
2016-17 Season Series: first match-up of the season