Sens battled but came away empty-handed
The Ottawa Senators battled back Thursday night but came away empty-handed.
And, this won’t be without controversy.
While the Senators were able to erase a two-goal third-period lead, the effort fell short as they dropped a 5-3 decision to the Vegas Golden Knights in front of 15,213 at the Canadian Tire Centre.
Though Thomas Chabot, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel did the scoring on Marc-Andre Fleury for the Senators, the Knights got timely goals from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, William Carrier, Nick Holden, Shea Theodore and Jonathan Marchessault.
The Senators will be livid with Bellemare’s goal with 7:59 left in the third. With Carrier on top of him, Craig Anderson wasn’t able to get up to make the save. The Senators challenged for interference but it was ruled a goal.
Anderson wasn’t happy because he couldn’t move and was giving the officials an earful late in the third period. It was ruled a goal because the league believed Anderson tripped up Carrier but it didn’t look like the Senators were buying that explanation.
“The situation room determined that Anderson initiated contact with Carrier, who was outside the goal crease prior to the goal,” the league said in its explanation.
Only 1:15 after the Senators tied it up, the Knights pulled ahead 4-3 on Carrier’s second of the season. He was able to battle off a check to beat Anderson with a backhander at 9:15 to restore the lead for Vegas.
In a span of 1:04, the Senators erased the Knights’ two-goal lead and tied it up 3-3. After a scramble in front, the puck landed on Chabot’s stick and he fired into an empty net at 8:01 for his fifth of the season.
Coach Guy Boucher had changed all the line combinations in the third to get some offence going and it worked. Returning to the lineup after a three-week absence with a torn ligament, rookie Brady Tkachuk skated with Mark Stone and Duchene.
It was Dzingel that started the game there, but skated with Chris Tierney and Bobby Ryan in the third. Dzingel turned this into a one-goal game with his seventh of the year when he beat Fleury on the glove side at 6:57.
Trailing 3-1 after 40 minutes, the Senators had been outshot 28-18 by the Knights and out played.
While they fell behind 3-0 with only 2:21 left in the second, Du chen e’ s fifth of the season at 29 seconds later got Ottawa on the board. He went to the net and pushed the puck by Fleury to give the Senators some hope going into the third period.
You don’t see players drop the gloves much anymore, but Mark Borowiecki and Ryan Reaves had a good bout with 2:32 left in the second period. It was right after the Knights pulled ahead 3-0 and, perhaps, that sparked the bench a bit.
Up until then, it hadn’t looked very good for Ottawa.
The Senators were allowing the Knights to get too many chances on Anderson and they weren’t putting nearly enough pressure on Fleury. It looked like Vegas had taken a commanding lead when Holden was able to get up and over Anderson.
The Senators were their own worst enemies in the first.
They fell behind 2-0 as they allowed Vegas to score twice on the power play. The second one was a potential backbreaker. It came on a one-timer by Theodore from the point with only 20 second left in the period.
While the Senators got off to a good start and forced Fleury to make some good stops by pushing the pace, it was Marchessault that opened the scoring with his seventh of the season. He fired it by Anderson on the stick side.
Anderson feeling fine
The 37-year-old Anderson, who will carry the bulk of the work while Mike Condon is in Belleville, made his 13th consecutive appearance in the club’s net against the Knights.
The previous time he didn’t participate in a game was Oct. 8 against the Boston Bruins on the road. Anderson doesn’t mind the workload and the coaching staff has done a good job working with training staff to make sure he’s getting the proper rest.
“Days off for practice is going to be key,” said Anderson before facing the Knights. “Staying in the gym, we’ve kind of got a good regimen in there, as far as physical activity to flush the legs and stay fresh.
“We’re doing the right things right now and every day I’m coming to the rink for game day fresh with a clear mind and energized emotionally. That’s the key now, can we stay energized, not just physically but emotionally. That’s been the key so far.”
The Senators will be livid with Bellemare’s goal with 7:59 left in the third. With Carrier on top of him, Craig Anderson wasn’t able to get up to make the save.