It certainly felt like this game between the Ottawa Senators and the New Jersey Devils could have been a high-scoring affair, as both teams were trading good scoring chances and the pace of the game was high. Both teams did a great job defensively in limiting second-chance opportunities, making the job for both backup goaltenders easier. Ultimately, the Senators would win the game 3-1 and end their losing streak at three games.
A fight between Chris Neil and Luke Gazdic started the game with excitement off a face-off less than two minutes into the game. It seemed to get both teams going as they traded good chances, but it would be the Senators who strike first, as Bobby Ryan would receive the credit for the game’s first goal with the puck bouncing a few times on its way to the net.
The Devils would reply with a goal of their own. After winning a few puck battles in the offensive zone, they got a goal from defenceman John Moore. The Senators would challenge the goal through a goaltender interference call, though the contact was not significant enough to prevent Condon from making a save.
Both teams would continue to trade chances and apply good pressure on each other, and the period would end tied 1-1.
The Senators would have another strong start to a period this game, as they would score less than two minutes in to regain the lead. Zack Smith showed his comfort playing on the top line, finding an open shot lane and getting the puck on net. Derrick Brassard would tip the shot in front for his fifth of the season.
The Devils responded well, creating several great scoring chances for themselves, yet they were unable putting the finishing touches. The game would remain 2-1 going into the second intermission despite New Jersey’s efforts to make it otherwise.
The game did not lose its pace going into the third frame, as the flow of the game went uninterrupted for over seven minutes from the drop of the puck. New Jersey’s top forwards Taylor Hall and Adam Henrique would continue to threaten to tie the game, but Ottawa did a good job in managing to keep them to the outside. When they did get in, Condon was well-positioned in his net to make the save. The Senators had the chance to score an insurance goal after the Devils received a penalty because Nick Lappin went after Marc Methot for hitting Taylor Hall.
The Senators did not manage to score on the power-play, but were able to hold off the Devils last attempts to tie the game, and would score into the empty net to take home the win 3-1 and end their losing streak.
OTT – Bobby Ryan (5) assisted by Chris Kelly (3) & Ryan Dzingel (10)
NJ – John Moore (5) assisted by Mike Cammalleri (9) & Travis Zajac (15)
OTT – Derrick Brassard (5) assisted by Zack Smith (5)
OTT – Zack Smith (5) EN assisted by Jean-Gabriel Pageau (6) & Chris Kelly (4)
THW Three Stars
First: Derrick Brassard (game-winning goal)
Second: Mike Condon (1 goal against, .967 SV%)
Third: Keith Kinkaid (2 goals against, .933 SV%)
Ottawa Senators at New York Islanders
Barklays Center – 7:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, December 18
Broadcast channels: SN, MSG+
2016-17 Season Series: first match-up