The Ottawa Senators snapped their four-game losing skid by mounting an incredible third-period comeback in a visit from Gritty and the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. The game was the Flyers first since former general manager Ron Hextall was fired on Monday, and it was the second match-up of the year between these two hockey clubs.
The victory seemed improbable for the Sens as Ottawa entered the third period down 3-1, outshot 27-15, and holding a dismal road record of 2-8-1 this season. However, the improbable became possible after a three-goal third-period rally, sparked primarily by Brady Tkachuk and Matt Duchene.
This win for Ottawa was justice after getting clubbed 7-4 at home by the Flyers on Oct. 10. The victory was also their first on a four-game road trip that has now concluded. Ottawa will look to build off this momentum in their return home to host the New York Rangers at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.
Ottawa improves their 2018-19 season record to 10-12-3 and 23 points, while Philadelphia drops to 10-12-2 for 22 points.
All Flyers After 40
The team wearing orange and black dominated most of the opening two periods of this affair. Travis Konecny scored the game’s first goal while the match was less than five minutes old. Despite Thomas Chabot responding for the Senators, the game was deadlocked at one apiece after the first period.
In the second, the Flyers poured on the pressure again. Philly scored two goals less than three minutes apart, courtesy of Jakub Voracek and Radko Gudas. After 40 minutes, the Flyers were outshooting Ottawa by 12 and managed to kill off all three Senator power plays, on route to boasting a perfect 100 percent penalty kill on the night.
The Senators saved their best period for last when it mattered most. On nine shots in the final frame, Ottawa exploded for three goals in just five and a half minutes.
Tkachuk fueled this comeback, scoring his eighth and ninth goals of the campaign to eliminate the deficit and bring the game to a 3-3 draw. The 19-year-old now has an incredible six points in two games against the Flyers in his career. Both games were three-point efforts involving two goals and one assist each.
Less than four minutes after Tkachuk tied it, Duchene scored the game-winner on a highlight reel goal. After breaking into the Flyers zone, he snapped a quick shot towards the net, which was blocked by Gudas and the puck sent airborne. From at least 30 feet away from the net, Duchene connected with it on his backhand in mid-air. The puck rocketed past a completely fooled Anthony Stolarz before going bar-down.
Duchene’s lightning-quick reaction time, hand-eye coordination, lethal accuracy, and the sheer velocity from that distance were all impressive factors on the goal, which will likely be replayed on highlight clips throughout the year.
It was Duchene’s grand slam goal of the night that capped a gritty finish on the road for a Senators team that has struggled in opposing team buildings this season. With the win, the Sens improve their road record to 3-8-1 for 7 points of a possible 24 so far this year.
- This was Senators goaltender Mike McKenna’s first win of the season in his second start of the campaign.
- Through 25 games this season, Philadelphia has gone through an incredible amount of goalies- five to be exact. Former Senator Brian Elliott, Calvin Pickard, Michal Neuvirth, Alex Lyon, and Stolarz have all shared time in the Flyers crease.
- In his second game back with the Senators since returning from injury, Ben Harpur showed some toughness in the first when he dropped the gloves with Dale Weise in an exciting tilt.
- After adding a goal and an assist in this game, Chabot retakes the point lead amongst NHL defensemen this season. In 25 games played, the 21-year-old has an incredible 29 points (7G, 22A).
Official 3 Stars of the Game
- Brady Tkachuk, Ottawa (2G, 1A, 6 shots)
- Matt Duchene, Ottawa (1G, including the game-winner)
- Claude Giroux, Philadelphia (1A, 75 FO%)
The Senators return home to welcome ex-Senator Mika Zibanejad and the New York Rangers to Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday. This will be these teams second meeting this week. The Rangers handed the Sens a 4-2 defeat at Madison Square Garden on Monday.
|1||Philadelphia||1-0||4:23||Travis Konecny (7)||Claude Giroux (21), Ivan Provorov (6)|
|1||Ottawa||1-1||5:51||Thomas Chabot (7)||Mark Stone (16), Brady Tkachuk (7)|
|2||Philadelphia||2-1||3:22||Jakub Voracek (6)||Ivan Provorov (7), Scott Laughton (2)|
|2||Philadelphia||3-1||6:00||Radko Gudas (1)||Scott Laughton (3), Oskar Lindblom (7)|
|3||Ottawa||3-2||11:32||Brady Tkachuk (8)||Mark Stone (17), Colin White (8)|
|3||Ottawa||3-3||13:26||Brady Tkachuk (9)||Thomas Chabot (22), Colin White (9)|
|3||Ottawa||3-4||17:01||Matt Duchene (11)||Unassisted|
Cover Photo Credit: Derik Hamilton / AP
Billy Morrison covers the Ottawa Senators and the Atlantic Division for Full Press Coverage. Follow Billy on Twitter, @BillyMorrison01.