For the second game in a row, the New York Islanders earned another two points from the Ottawa Senators. Although the final score on Thursday read 4-2 in favor of the Isles at Canadian Tire Centre, the game was in fact much closer.
After 60 minutes, the last placed Senators outshot the visitors 37-31 and won nearly 60 percent of the faceoffs. This is an impressive feat, considering the Islanders are currently first in the Metropolitan and sixth in the NHL. Despite their strong effort, the Sens gave up the game-winning goal to Anthony Beauvillier with 7:31 remaining in the third period.
With the loss, the Senators record drops to 23-39-6 as they remain at 50 points. The win propels the Islanders ahead of the Washington Capitals, the defending Stanley Cup champions. New York’s record is nearly inverse that of Ottawa’s. It is 39-21-7 for 85 points.
Home and Away
This game was the second time these two teams met this week in a home-and-away series. On Tuesday, the Senators fell 5-4 to the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum in their first shootout of the season. New York held a lead all game until the end when the Senators managed to tie the game up at four goals apiece to force extra time. Unfortunately for the Islanders, starting goaltender Robin Lehner was injured in this process on the tying goal. Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal scored for New York in the shootout.
Big Boom Brady
Ottawa’s Tkachuk had a productive night. It started with a big boom in the Islanders zone, shortly after the opening face-off, when the 19-year-old delivered a thundering hit on Brock Nelson in the visiting team’s corner. The hit was hard enough that it dislodged the glass from its stanchions.
“Honestly, I didn’t think it was that big of a hit. I think I just hit it at the right angle where it just came out. Pretty cool. First time for that”, said Tkachuk.
The only other hit in the game that came close to challenging this one was Jean-Gabriel Pageau‘s hit on Adam Pelech. The 5’10”, 185-pound Pageau upended the much bigger defenseman just as the second period closed. The 6’3″, 218-pound Pelech went crashing to the ice after the impact.
Tkachuk would go on to score Ottawa’s first goal of the game when he tipped home a Ben Harpur shot from the point. The native of Scottsdale, Arizona would go on to log 16:02 of ice time, along with six shots, three hits, two penalty minutes, and one block.
Ottawa endured two injury scares in this game. The first was when Dylan DeMelo took a deflected shot directly off his head. The Senators defender immediately dropped to the ice in considerable pain. After the play stopped, he managed to get up and skate off the ice on his own effort. Luckily, the 25-year-old returned to the game before the opening period finished.
Bobby Ryan, on the other hand, may not have been as fortunate. The winger with an extensive history of hand injuries blocked a shot with his injury-prone hand late in the game. The 31-year-old forward left and did not return. During the post-game interview, Senators head coach Marc Crawford updated the media about situation: “I think Bobby is okay. Obviously, he took another shot off his favorite injury. We’re hopeful that he’s fine. We’ll probably have more tomorrow but it didn’t seem too serious”.
Greiss-y Glove Saves
No Lehner, no problem for Islanders back-up netminder Thomas Greiss. The two goaltenders share eerily similar numbers this season.
On the season, Lehner has 20 wins, a 2.19 goals against average, and a .927 save percentage. By comparison, Greiss now has 18 wins to go along with a 2.23 goals against average and a .928 save percentage. In this game, the German native made 35 of 37 saves, to conclude with the win, along with a 2.01 goals against average and a .946 save percentage.
On numerous occasions throughout this game, Greiss managed to make some impressive glove saves. His biggest was arguably on Cody Ceci, who blasted a bomb from the point with 30 seconds remaining in the first period. However, Griess made another great glove save on a fast and creative Thomas Chabot rush in the third period.
Prior to puck drop, the Senators honored the memory of legendary defenseman Ted Lindsay with a moment of silence. Lindsay passed away on Mar. 4 at the age of 93. A native of nearby Renfrew, Ontario, he played 1,068 games between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. Along the way, he won four Stanley Cups, was a nine-time NHL All-Star, and earned 851 points. This included 379 goals and 472 assists.
Official 3 Stars of the Game
- Valtteri Filppula, New York
- Brady Tkachuk, Ottawa
- Thomas Greiss, New York
After this one game at home, the Senators travel to Boston to play the Bruins on Saturday at TD Garden. This will be the fourth and final match-up between these two teams in the 2018-19 campaign. Ottawa is 0-2-1 against the Bruins this year.
Overall, Boston is 41-17-9 and has already earned 91 points after just 67 games played. They rank second in the NHL, trailing the dominant Tampa Bay Lightning, who are comfortably ahead by an incredible 10 wins and 15 points.
Cover Photo Credit: Fred Chartrand / The Canadian Press
Billy Morrison lives in Ottawa and covers the Ottawa Senators for Full Press Coverage. Follow Billy on Twitter, @BillyMorrison01.