A six-minute, three-goal explosion in the second period powered the Ottawa Senators to a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.
By Chris Faria
The Senators got off to a lightning fast start as Victor Mete made a dash through the neutral zone, collecting a pass from Alex Formenton. Mete split Vancouver’s D before dispatching a quick snap shot by Thatcher Demko’s glove, giving Ottawa a 1-0 lead just 2:04 in on his first goal of the season.
The two teams have developed a bit of a heated rivalry over their nine matchups this season and Wednesday’s game was no exception as Brady Tkachuk sparked the fire. The power forward laid a crunching hit on Brandon Sutter, with Zack MacEwen taking exception. Tkachuk and MacEwen dropped the gloves, though it was more of a wrestling match than a fist fight.
Ottawa took a well-deserved lead into the first intermission as they out-chanced Vancouver 11-2 through 20 minutes of play.
That good play was rewarded early in the second as the Senators exploded for two more goals through the first 1:10 of the frame. Chris Tierney scored the first goal of the period just 48 seconds in, putting the puck in off a rebound from Thomas Chabot’s point shot to make it 2-0 Ottawa. Just 32 seconds later, Josh Norris increased the lead to three after Tkachuk picked off a pass and found his teammate wide open in front for a tap in. The goal gave Norris 15 on the season, good for second among rookies.
The two-goal explosion prompted a timeout call from Canucks head coach Travis Green, and the tactic seemed to work.
Just four minutes later, the Canucks got a cycle going in the Ottawa zone. They worked the puck back to the point, giving Tyler Myers plenty of time and space to walk in and blow a wrist shot by Marcus Hogberg, bringing the score to 3-1.
Vancouver’s celebrations were short lived though, as Chabot got the goal back a mere 53 seconds later. Nick Paul fired a shot on net from the slot off a nice tic-tac-toe passing play, and Chabot tidied up the rebound to restore Ottawa’s three-goal lead.
But the rollercoaster ride wasn’t over just yet. The Canucks flipped the puck down into the Sens’ zone as Hogberg ventured behind his net to play the puck. The netminder was slow to react, giving Tyler Motte a chance to steal it away and set up JT Miller in front for a goal on the gaping net to bring the score to 4-2. For those keeping count at home, that’s five goals through the first 7:23 of the period!
After a 10-minute stalemate, the Senators extended their lead once again as Drake Batherson sent Tkachuk in alone on a breakaway. Tkachuk snuck off the bench undetected by Vancouver’s defence then walked in and fired a shot through Demko to make it 5-2. Already with a fight and assist to his name, the goal gave Tkachuk a “Gordie Howe hat trick.”
Down by three with less than six minutes to play in the third, the Canucks decided to pull their goalie as a last ditch effort. The Sens were the ones who capitalized, though, as Colin White pounced on a loose puck in the Ottawa zone and fired it down into Vancouver’s cage to make it 6-2.
The Canucks added a consolation goal from Sutter with 2:17 to play for a final score of 6-3.
With the win, the Sens improve to 5-1-0 over their last six games and finish the season series against the Canucks with a 3-4-2 record. Ottawa will be in action again on Saturday as they take on the Montreal Canadiens at 7:00 PM EST.