The Vegas Golden Knights successfully defended their Fortress from an Ottawa Senators siege Sunday night, defeating them 4-3 in overtime. Jonathan Marchessault scored the game winner on a penalty shot in extra time to boost the Golden Knight’s record to 5-5-1, while the Senators fall to 4-4-2.
Throughout this game, the Golden Knights were sharp on offence. The Nevada hockey club fired 17 shots against the Senators in the first period, 37 after the second, and 52 after the third. Alex Tuch and Marchessault both had eight shots on goal, Reilly Smith had six, while Erik Haula, Shea Theodore, and Colin Miller tied with five apiece. Tuch scored twice, while Ryan Reaves found the other regulation marker for Vegas.
Had it not been for Craig Anderson, the score could have been much uglier for the Senators. The 37-year old was stellar in his seventh consecutive start as he faced 53 shots in 62:24. Although he was officially named the game’s third star, he was by far the first star for the Senators.
Following the game, Ottawa head coach Guy Boucher had strong praise for his net-minder: “Our goaltender played a terrific game, he was solid, gave us confidence”.
Boucher was also impressed with Bobby Ryan and Ryan Dzingel, and from his team as a whole. “It was a real team effort from the beginning to the end, and that’s what we’re looking for. Whether we lose or win, to be able for sixty minutes, to keep the composure, build our mental toughness in those moments where it’s not going our way, and we were definitely able to do that today….Right now for the players, it’s great bounce-back attitude and discipline.”
It was unjust Anderson lost on an overtime penalty shot given his regulation heroics in the Senators crease. He exits this game with a 4-3-2 record, 3.54 Goals Against Average, and a .908 save percentage this season.
Ottawa’s games against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday and the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday were mirror images of each other.
Against the Avalanche, the Senators opened the scoring early, just 2:42 into the game. Then, they temporarily built a two-goal lead but watched it fade away towards the end of the second period and within the first minute of the third. Special teams played a role in its erosion. Finally, they were drastically outshot by their opponents (14-4) in the final period.
Against the Golden Knights, the Senator’s got off to another quick start, just 3:08 into the game. They temporarily built another two-goal lead, which was lost before the end of the second period. Again, special teams played a role. In the third, they were again massively outshot by their opponents (15-4).
The only significant difference between these games was the final score. The Senators succumbed four third period goals to the Avs, to lose 6-3; whereas the Senators managed to push the Golden Knights into extra time to collect one point. Although there was improvement in this game compared to their last, the familiar trend of giving up leads and getting outplayed in the third period is troubling. From a Senators’ perspective, thank goodness for Anderson.
- Thomas Chabot recorded two assists against Vegas, bringing his point total up to 13 (3G, 10A) in 10 games played. Chabot leads the Senators in points this season.
- After being held scoreless in his first six games of the campaign, Matt Duchene now has four goals in his last four games.
- Cody Ceci has recorded points in back-to-back games since returning to the Senators line-up.
- Senators defenceman Mark Borowiecki returned from his one-game suspension to play only 3:25 this game. His night ended early when he hammered Cody Eakin, who had his head down, and was consequently ejected from the game. Eakin left the game after the hit and did not return.
- So far, the Senators are 0-1-1 on their three-game road trip and have obtained one of a possible four points so far.
Official 3 Stars of the Game
- Alex Tuch, Vegas (2G)
- Jonathan Marchessault, Vegas (1G- Game Winner)
- Craig Anderson, Ottawa (3.85 GAA, .925 SV%)
The Senators will conclude their southwest U.S. road trip by taking on the Arizona Coyotes in Phoenix on Tuesday, October 30.
|1||Ottawa||1-0||3:08||Matt Duchene (4)||Ryan Dzingel (3), Cody Ceci (2)|
|2||Ottawa [PPG]||2-0||8:52||Bobby Ryan (2)||Mark Stone (4), Thomas Chabot (9)|
|2||Vegas||2-1||15:14||Alex Tuch (1)||Erik Haula (2)|
|2||Vegas [PPG]||2-2||18:21||Ryan Reaves (3)||Colin Miller (2), Erik Haula (3)|
|3||Ottawa||3-2||7:49||Ryan Dzingel (4)||Chris Wideman (1), Thomas Chabot (10)|
|3||Vegas||3-3||8:17||Alex Tuch (2)||Nick Holden (3)|
|OT||Vegas [PS]||3-4||2:24||Jonathan Marchessault (6)|
Cover Photo Credit: John Locher / The Associated Press
Billy Morrison covers the Ottawa Senators and the Atlantic Division for Full Press Coverage. Follow Billy on Twitter, @BillyMorrison01.