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Best Win Of The Season?

 

The Ottawa Senators moved to 8-16-1 on the season after a 4-0 shutout win over the defending Stanley Cup Champion, Tampa Bay Lightning, yesterday afternoon. It was Ottawa’s 4th win in their last 5 games and Anton Forsberg picked up 1st career shutout in the NHL, a special moment he was able to share with his son (Ben).

 

Josh Norris scored his team-leading 12th of the season with 7:20 left in the first period. Norris started the play off by winning the draw back to Thomas Chabot, who then found Drake Batherson in the corner, making a beautiful pass for Norris to bury the first goal of the game.

Tampa would have a few opportunities in the 1st period with a Victor Hedman point shot deflecting off the post and Taylor Raddysh was absolutely robbed by Forsberg after he got in alone. Alex Kilorn thought he tied the game late in the period but the goal would be waved off due to it being touched by a high stick. The 1st period would end with the Sens leading 1-0.

Enter the Tkachuk show. Ottawa would find themselves with a power play early in the 2nd period and that’s where Brady would score his first of the game on a scramble in front of the net. Batherson set him up for a great chance in front but Elliot would shut the door before the puck would find its way back to Tkachuk, putting home his 2nd chance to make it 2-0 Sens just 3:32 into the 2nd period.

Moments later, the Sens would have another power-play opportunity and for a moment it looked like Thomas Chabot has his first goal of the season, but, it would be Brady Tkachuk tipping Chabot’s point shot past Elliot for his 2nd of the game and 10th on the season. 3-0 Sens.

We move to the 3rd period, Ottawa still leading 3-0 with just under 4 minutes left in the 3rd period, Brady Tkachuk would score the empty-net goal to complete his first career hat-trick.

There was no doubt that DJ Smith would want his top line of Tkachuk-Norris-Batherson on the ice to close out the game, looking for Tkachuk to complete the hat-trick. Batherson found himself with a chance at the empty net but he would flip the pass to Tkachuk who would miss his first attempt at completing the hat-trick, a classy move from “The Drake.”

Moments later Brady would cause a turnover at the Sens blue-line and flip the puck down the ice for his 11thgoal of the season, completing the natural hat-trick, to make it 4-0 Sens. Ottawa would hold on for the win, putting together one of their strongest performances of the season.

Anton Forsberg made 25 saves for his first-ever shutout in the National Hockey League. The top line of Tkachuk-Norris-Batherson combined for 7 points in the win. Batherson tallied 3 assists and continues to lead the team with 24 points on the season. Thomas Chabot had a pair of helpers as well, likely impressing Lightning coach Jon Cooper, who will also be the head coach of the Canadian Olympic team in February.

This was a strong performance from the Sens, defending well against a tough Lightning team and capitalizing on their opportunities, going 2/4 on the power play. Ottawa now travels to Florida for a date with the Panthers on Tuesday night. Defenceman Jacob Bernard-Docker was called up for the game but did not play and Michael Del Zotto officially cleared waivers.

By Steve Bunda

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