If I were to tell you that the Ottawa Senators were outshot 49-20, went 0/3 on the power-power play, and only won 37% of their face-offs, but came away with a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, would you believe me?
That’s exactly what happened last night. Ottawa was outplayed for the majority of the evening but it didn’t matter. They walked away with a big win, snapping their 6 game losing skid against a very good Hurricanes squad. Anton Forsberg was a monster in the net for Ottawa but it was the matter of how they won that likely surprised Sens fans.
It started with a quick goal from Alex Formenton 2:43 into the game. He took a nice pass from Tyler Ennis in the neutral zone and used his speed to walk around Brendan Smith, sliding one through the five-hole of Antti Raanta, making it 1-0 Sens.
After no scoring in the 2nd period, it was Formenton who was given credit for a controversial goal in the 3rd period. After sliding into Raanta, Hurricanes forward Martin Necas accidentally kicked the puck into his own net. It was waved off but after DJ Smith threw his non-existent challenge flag, it was determined by the officials that Svechnikov caused Formenton to fall into Raanta, making it a good goal on the ice. 2-0 Sens with 10:55 remaining in the 3rd period.
Just under 3 minutes later, Teuvo Teravainen would make it a one-goal game on the power-play, and 1:45 after that, it was Svechnikov with his 9th to make it 2-2 with 6:13 left in the 3rd. It was right then when every single Sens fan shook their head, uttered words that I can’t write, and thought – here we go again!
Following Svechnikov’s goal, DJ Smith would put out his top line of Tkachuk-Norris-Batherson, looking to provide a spark and did it ever pay off. Norris was given credit for his 9th goal of the year to put Ottawa back in the lead, 19 seconds later. Drake Batherson fed Norris a nice pass to spring him past the defender. He didn’t finish on the first attempt but after Batherson crashed the crease, the puck would find its way into the net. The team would hold on to make it a 3-2 final, ending their losing streak at 6 game.
The team showed a lot of character but it was Anton Forsberg who deserves the most credit for the win. His 47 save performance tied him with Craig Anderson for the most saves in a Sens win. The 47 stops were also a career-high for Forsberg, easily the most impressive performance by a Sens goaltender this season.
“It’s going to be a man’s game here in the 3rd, it’s a huge opportunity for our team to show our maturity. I know we’re going to go balls to the walls here,” said captain Brady Tkachuk during his 2nd intermission interview with TSN. The Sens did just that by pulling out the gutsy win after blowing their 2 goal lead in that 3rd period.
This win was something the Sens absolutely needed. It’s victories like this that can spark a team and give them the jolt they need. The Senators are off today following back-to-back games but return to the ice Saturday for a matchup with the Colorado Avalanche. Ottawa will be looking for revenge after falling 7-5 to the Avs back on November 22nd.
Will this hard-fought, scrappy win against Carolina turn the Sens season around?