From 8 goals against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday to just 1 vs the Tampa Bay Lightning last night, the Ottawa Senators split on their Florida trip. After beating the Lightning 4-0 last Saturday afternoon, the Sens took off to the sunshine state for a pair of games this week against two of the top dogs in the Eastern Conference.
They kicked off the trip with an 8-2 win over the Panthers that saw five players with multiple points, including four from their leading scorer, Drake Batherson. “Bath Time” now has 9 goals and 28 points in 22 games played on the season. Josh Norris sits 2nd in scoring with 22 points in 27 games but leads the lead with 14 goals.
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) December 15, 2021
Anton Forsberg made 33 saves to improve his record to 5-0 in December. Ottawa’s power play went 2/4 on the evening, but more impressively, their penalty kill was a perfect 6/6. It was a well-rounded performance to begin their road trip and improved their record to 5-2 in the month of December.
Ottawa found themselves facing off against the Lightning last night for the 2nd time in 3 games, looking to build off their two previous strong performances. It started with Thomas Chabot scoring his first goal of the season late in period number 1, and boy was it a beauty!
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) December 17, 2021
Chabot’s goal was unassisted, and it would be the lone goal of the first period. Alex Kilorn would tip in a Ross Colton pass just 3:47 into the 2nd period to make it 1-1; then Victor Hedman would blast home a power-play goal for the Lightning to make it 2-1 with 4:55 left in the 2nd period. The Sens couldn’t find their scoring ways in the 3rd period, making the final 2-1. Thomas Chabot led both teams with just over 30 minutes of ice time, Drake Batherson saw his 6-game point streak end, and Anton Forsberg stopped 25 shots, losing for the first time in December. Nikita Zaitsev left the game with a lower-body injury in the first period after his skate went into the boards awkwardly.
Zaitsev in a transport cast and on crutches after the game. Clearly not a knee injury.
— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) December 17, 2021
“I thought we had plenty of chances, especially in the second period. Obviously five penalties, they score one, and that’s the difference here tonight,” said head coach DJ Smith following the loss. “You’d like to get a point. We had some guys that were a little bit flat, but defensively we worked hard and blocked shots and did everything we could to give ourselves a chance to win.”
The Sens had an off day today ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with Philadelphia Flyers at 7 PM when they wrap up their 3-game road trip. Sunday, the team returns to the Canadian Tire Centre for a matchup with the Boston Bruins at 5 PM.
By Steve Bunda