JT Miller scored the overtime winner for the Vancouver Canucks as they squeezed out a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Monday night.
By Chris Faria
Coming off an impressive Sunday night win over the division-leading Toronto Maple Leafs, you would’ve expected the Sens to look a bit sluggish out of the gate, but that wasn’t exactly the case. The Senators took the game to the Canucks early on, outshooting them 8-1 through the first seven minutes of play. They nearly took an early lead on a Thomas Chabot point shot which snuck behind goaltender Thatcher Demko, but after review it was judged that the referee blew the play dead just before the puck crossed the line.
The unfortunate bounce preceded an unfortunate first period for the Sens.
Just past the halfway mark of the first, Vancouver centre Brandon Sutter won an offensive draw back to Jordie Benn. The defenceman fired a wrister into traffic in front of the Ottawa cage and Jayce Hawryluk picked up the loose change, slipping the puck past Joey Daccord to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead.
The Sens kept up the pressure, though, outshooting the Canucks 18-8 and hitting a couple of posts through the first 18 minutes of the period – until yet another unfortunate series of events.
While battling below the Senators’ goal line, Colin White tossed a no-look pass right up the middle, landing perfectly onto the stick of Canucks winger Tanner Pearson who rifled it home. Judging by the replay, it looked as if Pearson actually called for the puck and White, thinking it was a teammate, obliged.
The strange goal put the Sens in a 2-0 hole despite all their good work in the frame.
Pearson rips home the White…pass?! 🚨 pic.twitter.com/ebcsPyKv7Q
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 15, 2021
The Senators would not be denied in the second, though. At the 16 minute mark, Artem Zub made a strong keep-in off an attempted clear then quickly fed a cross-seam pass to an open Tim Stutzle on the left side. The rookie whipped a hard wrist shot off the post and the rebound fell directly to Josh Norris in the slot who one-timed it past Demko for his sixth goal of the season, giving the Senators life again at 2-1.
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 16, 2021
Ottawa fired 29 pucks on net through two periods, nearly doubling the Canucks on the shot counter, but still found themselves trailing going into the final frame.
Though the Senators did a decent job of limiting the Canucks’ chances, Daccord came up big when called upon. With about 13 minutes left to play, the rookie netminder made a huge sprawling save on Canucks captain Bo Horvat, who had plenty of net to shoot at after a cross-crease feed from Nils Hoglander. That save would prove to be crucial, keeping Ottawa within one.
The Senators really turned up the heat in the second half of the third, ratcheting their shot count up to 43 by the three minute mark. With just over two to play the Sens pulled their goalie for one last push, and it paid off almost immediately. Brady Tkachuk won a puck battle on the right wing boards and slid a pass over to White in the slot, who quickly snapped it past Demko to tie the game at 2-2 and atone for his earlier error.
But unfortunately for the Sens, the Canucks would have the last laugh. Less than two minutes into overtime, Quinn Hughes fed a quick pass up to Miller at the far blue line as Chabot was heading off for a change. Miller danced around a diving Tkachuk then made a quick move on Daccord before dispatching the puck into the top corner to give Vancouver the win.
No doubt about it! Miller wins it in OT! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/0DgwqINP9k
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 16, 2021
It was a hard fought point for the Senators who arguably deserved better, falling to 0-6-1 in the second half of back-to-backs this season. They’ll have a chance for revenge against the Canucks on Wednesday at 7:00 PM EST.