Players always say, the first game back after a long road trip is tough. Last night’s performance by the Ottawa Senators certainly proved that saying to be true. It was a tough night all-around—from the team’s play, to the lack of emotion from the 10, 571 fans that were in attendance.
The Canucks opened the scoring 1:38 into the game with a goal from Tanner Pearson. He beat Adam Gaudette in front of the net to bury his 4th of the season. Gaudette, who was recently claimed off waivers by the Senators, had a pair of turnovers in his first shift with the team. He would redeem himself for a minute, scoring a power-play go to tie the game midway through the 1st period. Filip Gustavsson made a huge glove save on Tyler Myers late in period number 1 to keep the game tied heading into the 2nd period.
Tyler Motte would break the tie for Vancouver, once again off a Gaudette turnover, just 2:38 seconds into the 2nd period. Ottawa had a few chances, including a 5 on 3 power-play opportunity for a full minute, midway through the 2nd period, but made nothing of it. The Sens would get another man advantage with 1:57 remaining in the period but it didn’t last 10 seconds before Drake Batherson was awarded a slashing penalty, moving things to 4 on 4. Luke Schenn walked around Alex Formenton and flipped one home to give the Canucks a 2 goal lead with 28 seconds left in the 2nd period.
It was another early period goal to start the 3rd, Bo Horvat made it 4-1 just 4:02 into the period. A few minutes later, former Senator, Alex Chiasson would add a power-play goal making it 5-1. Brady Tkachuk scored his 5th of the season but after a Zach Sanford roughing call late in the 3rd, JT Miller would dangle right past Victor Mete before undressing Filip Gustavsson.
Make the Final 6-2 Canucks over the Senators and 6 straight losses for Ottawa.
“If you’re a true fan, you’re going to stay by your guys. It’s easy to kick us while we’re down but we’re going to keep fighting and give our effort every night,” said DJ Smith post-game when asked what his message is to the fans during this losing skid. “Tonight isn’t the result we wanted but we’re going to battle hard and we’ll get better.”
DJ is right, fans will continue to stick by the team, but there needs to be some accountability. We keep hearing that they’ll work their way out of this or that they’ll continue to battle hard but it’s been the same thing over and over again. It’s just not good enough. The defensive zone miscues, breakdowns off the rush, and the lack of scoring have been evident over the last 12 games.
Matt Murray was sent to Belleville after his poor start to the season but we haven’t heard from management about why or a plan for him. We haven’t heard anything from anyone other than the players and DJ Smith in quite some time. Fans deserve an explanation.
The Sens are back on the ice again tonight at 7 o’clock against the 15-5-1 Carolina Hurricanes. The team won’t have a game-day skate so we won’t know any lineup notes until closer to puck drop. I’d assume Anton Forsberg will be the starting goaltender.
Could Sens fans be in for a surprise win against a tough Hurricanes squad or will it be déjà vu all over again?