Sens rally to 6-4 win in Tampa

Ottawa Sun - - NEWS - KEN WAR­REN

TAMPA — Brady Tkachuk in­tro­duced him­self to Tampa Bay Light­ning all-star goal­tender An­drei Vasilevskiy Satur­day.

Maybe not with words. Cer­tainly with ac­tions.

“That’s what I pride my­self on, is be­ing around the net, that’s where a lot of goals are from,” the 19-year-old Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors rookie said af­ter play­ing a ma­jor role in the Sen­a­tors im­pres­sive come­back 6-4 win over the Light­ning. “I just want to be around there, cause havoc down there, too, and tried to get into (Vasilevskiy’s) kitchen a lit­tle bit.” It worked. The Sen­a­tors ral­lied with a four-goal third pe­riod against a Light­ning squad that had pre­vi­ously been 8-1-1 when lead­ing af­ter two pe­ri­ods.

Tkachuk cued the rally, scor­ing 50 sec­onds into the third. Tkachuk then as­sisted on fel­low rookie Colin White’s power play goal to tie the game 4-4.

Ryan Dzin­gel scored the go-ahead goal and Mark Stone capped the come­back with a power play goal with 12 sec­onds re­main­ing.

It was a sim­i­lar story to what hap­pened when the clubs met at the Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre last Sun­day. Only in re­verse, when the Light­ning walked away with an over­time vic­tory.

“We were due for a come­back even­tu­ally,” said Tkachuk. “So why not tonight

against a Stan­ley Cup con­tender?”

Tkachuk, who re­turned to the lineup from his leg in­jury on Thurs­day, has scored four goals and four as­sists in only six games.

Satur­day’s vic­tory marked only the sec­ond road win of the sea­son for the Sen­a­tors, who are im­me­di­ately back in ac­tion Sun­day against the Florida Pan­thers.

The loaded Light­ning were in ideal po­si­tion to bury the Sen­a­tors. Thanks to a three­goal sec­ond pe­riod, the Light­ning turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 edge.

For all the talk about the of­fence of the Sen­a­tors’ de­fence, it was the Light­ning’s de­fence that helped flipped the mo­men­tum.

Vic­tor Hed­man, re­turn­ing to the lineup af­ter miss­ing

seven games due to an undis­closed up­per-body in­jury, tied the game 2-2 on a power play, rip­ping a shot be­tween Craig An­der­son’s legs.

That was fol­lowed by Bray­don Coburn’s knuck­le­ball from the blue­line, which floated over and through sev­eral bod­ies be­fore find­ing the top of the net.

On the ropes, the Sen­a­tors

were back­ing up as rookie Mathieu Joseph ripped a shot from the slot over An­der­son to make it 4-2. It was his sec­ond of the night.

Be­fore Joseph played the Sen­a­tors last Sun­day in Ot­tawa, he had yet to score in the big leagues. Af­ter tal­ly­ing his first at the Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre in a come-frombe­hind 4-3 OT win, he now has four goals, clearly rolling

with con­fi­dence.

The odds were cer­tainly not in the Sen­a­tors’ favour be­fore Satur­day’s game.

Since win­ning their first road game of the year against Toronto, the Sen­a­tors had lost their next five. The last time they were away from home, they were hu­mil­i­ated 9-2 by Buf­falo.

On top of that, a cou­ple of other no­table sta­tis­tics were

star­ing them in the face: the Light­ning led the NHL in goals scored, while the Sen­a­tors led the league in goals al­lowed.

The Sen­a­tors jumped out early.

Duchene be­gan the scor­ing on the first shot, tuck­ing the puck past Vasilevskiy on a wrap­around ef­fort 4:58 into the game.

Only 2:23 later, Bobby Ryan cashed in, tak­ing ad­van­tage of big re­bound off a Cody Ceci shot.

Three shots. Two goals. 2-0 Ot­tawa.

Ever so grad­u­ally, though, the Light­ning worked their way back into the game. Joseph’s first goal of the game, a bank shot off Thomas

Chabot’s skate, slipped be­hind An­der­son to make it 2-1.

The Light­ning gained mo­men­tum that lasted through the sec­ond pe­riod, but the Sen­a­tors had an an­swer for that.

“We need ev­ery­one in here go­ing to win games,” said Duchene. “That in­cludes our young guys and our young guys were out­stand­ing.”


The ca­reer-high 28 min­utes 49 sec­onds of ice time that Chabot played in Thurs­day’s 5-3 loss to the Ve­gas Golden Knights led to ques­tions about his high-water marks as a ju­nior. Ac­cord­ing to Chabot, while play­ing for the Saint John Sea Dogs against the Shaw­ini­gan Cataractes in a 2016-17 Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League con­test, he hit the 45-minute mark. Yes, that’s 45 of the 65 min­utes. “Yeah, that was a good one. We won in a shootout,” Chabot re­called.


Then there was that 45-minute ef­fort in the 2017 world ju­nior cham­pi­onship fi­nal, when Chabot and his Cana­dian team­mates lost 5-4 to the United States, also in a shootout af­ter a full over­time pe­riod was played. White played a ma­jor role for the win­ning side that night. “I re­mem­ber us beat­ing him,” White said. “He slew-footed me. I got him back. It was a fun game. Now, we’re besties, we’re room­mates, but I think I got the bet­ter hand of him that day.”


While White isn’t in Chabot’s ball­park in terms of play­ing time with the Sen­a­tors, it’s his de­fence as much as his of­fence that al­low Sen­a­tors head coach Guy

Boucher to trust him more. White’s backcheck­ing has saved at least a cou­ple of goals in the past week. “For me, it’s just about a 200-foot game,” said White, whose all-round game while he was at Bos­ton Col­lege drew com­par­isons to the Bru­ins’ Pa­trice Berg­eron. “If I make a mis­take in ei­ther the (de­fen­sive) zone or the (of­fen­sive) zone, I try to move on, keep watch­ing video and see what I can gain from that.” White had a goal and an as­sist and played 18:49 against the Light­ning. A BREAK FOR AN­DER­SON

Head­ing into Satur­day’s game, Boucher said the plan was still to start backup net­min­der Mike McKenna against the Florida Pan­thers on Sun­day. McKenna has played in two games, yield­ing six goals on 37 shots. “We’re plan­ning for McKenna (Sun­day) and af­ter that there’s no plan,” Boucher said Satur­day. “It re­ally is about how (An­der­son) feels. We’re giv­ing him all the rest we can. He’s a gamer. He’s not go­ing to cry about not prac­tis­ing and just play­ing games, so, in that re­spect, I don’t think we have an is­sue.”… While the Sen­a­tors sent goalie Mike

Con­don down to the Amer­i­can Hockey League so he could play and re­build his con­fi­dence, his de­but with the Belleville Sen­a­tors didn’t go well on Fri­day. He al­lowed six goals on 23 shots, but won 7-6.


The good news for the Sen­a­tors out of Belleville’s vic­tory on Fri­day was the of­fen­sive bursts from winger Drake Batherson and de­fence­man Chris­tian

Wolanin. Batherson scored one goal and five as­sists, mak­ing him the first AHL player in al­most three sea­sons with a six-point game. Wolanin had one goal and four as­sists. PRiDE OF TAMPA With for­mer Light­ning great

Martin St. Louis be­ing of­fi­cially in­ducted into the Hall of Fame this week­end, cur­rent Tampa Bay play­ers couldn’t say enough about his ca­reer. “It was just his ded­i­ca­tion to the game and he was a such a good teacher for me,” said Hed­man. “He wanted to be on a dif­fer­ent level. He wanted to be the best there is and that rubbed off on me.” SUR­ViV­iNg LAND OF giANTS

Boucher coached St. Louis dur­ing his ten­ure with the Light­ning from 2010 to 2013. He rained praise on the 5-7 spark­plug for steam­rolling his way to dom­i­na­tion in the clutch-and-grab late 1990s. “Peo­ple forget now how amaz­ing it was be­cause now it’s an age where it would suit him even more, (with) the smaller player, the faster player, the skilled player able to evolve be­cause the rules have changed,” Boucher said. “What he did, just mak­ing the NHL with his size and do­ing what he has done, it’s ab­so­lutely mind bog­gling, it re­ally is.”


It’s way, way, way too early to think about end of sea­son Na­tional Hockey League awards, but Vasilevskiy has been the class of the crease. Just like St. Louis, the road to glory for Vasilevskiy started with a ridicu­lous com­mit­ment. “The way he works off the ice and at prac­tice is sec­ond to none,” Light­ning winger Ryan

Cal­la­han said. “I re­mem­ber (goalie coach) Frantz Jean telling him, ‘You’ve got to go home once in a while.’ He was the first guy at the rink and the train­ers were get­ting up­set be­cause they had to wash the (equip­ment) and he was still out there.” Over time, Cal­la­han says, Vasilevskiy has learned to chan­nel his emo­tions. “I’ve seen him han­dle that pres­sure a lot bet­ter as the years have gone on. He’s so much more com­posed than when he broke into the league, when deal­ing with losses or deal­ing with a bad goal.” For all that, the Sen­a­tors found some late holes to turn what looked like a sure de­feat to a sud­den vic­tory.


The of­fi­cial Florida motto is “In God We Trust,” and it’s of­ten re­ferred to as “The Sunshine State.” Any­one else think “The Vote Re­count State” works?


Sen­a­tors’ Cody Ceci gets a shot off as Light­ning de­fence­man Vic­tor Hed­man closes in last night at Amalie Arena in Tampa.


Dan­ick Mar­tel of the Light­ning un­leashes a shot on Sen­a­tors goalie Craig An­der­son last night at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

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