On a night where a win for the Ottawa Senators and a loss for the Montreal Canadiens would leave the Sens atop the Atlantic, it just didn’t happen. A point taken from the game nonetheless.
Ottawa Senators’ six-game winning streak came to a tumbling conclusion Tuesday, as the desperate Tampa Bay Lightning salvaged yet another win. Their win streak extended to four games as they attempt to steal a wildcard spot.
Bobby Ryan returned to the Ottawa Senators lineup after missing 11 games, a much anticipated return for the top-six forward. The broken finger suffered by Ryan seemingly making positive progress. Kyle Turris also making his return after missing three games with an injured finger. Mark Stone sat another game as did goaltender Craig Anderson. Both are out with lower-body injuries.
Brayden Point got the Tampa Bay Lightning up and running. Jake Dotchin firing a wrister on an aggressive break, Ottawa goaltender Mike Condon making the initial stop, an unmarked Brayden Point feasting on a juicy rebound. Erik Karlsson just missing out on the first line centre.
In between Tampa’s goal and the Ottawa Senators equaliser was Mike Condon. Single-handedly keeping the Sens dreams of two points alive. A shot from active d-man Jake Dotchin deflected, looking like a certain goal but for Condon’s desperate scramble with his stick.
The Ottawa Senators would have to wait until the second period to net the equaliser following a comedic scene. Braydon Coburn gifting the puck to Tommy Wingels, with Coburn and Luke Witkowski both falling giving Wingels a free lane to strike. Firing the puck stick-side past Tampa goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Tampa Bay gained the two points in the last minute of overtime. Defenseman Victor Hedman netting a pass from Ondrej Palat past the sprawling Condon.
The goaltenders stole the headlines in this department.
Andrei Vasilevskiy saving 27 of the 28 shots he faced, leaving him with a .969 save percentage.
Mike Condon saving 33 of the 35 shots he faced, leaving him with a .946 save percentage.
NHL fans (not just those of the Ottawa Senators) felt that Ottawa could continue their six-game winning streak going. With Tampa playing a playoff intensity game in Madison Square Garden and the Sens having a two-day rest. It seems like a constant rhetoric but Mike Condon was exceptional last night, tested far more than his opposing number. The game could have easily swung the other way much earlier without his level head.
Once again the Ottawa Senators cannot make the most of their chance to seize top spot. Is this a sign for the rest of the season? Hopefully not. With more tricky fixtures on the horizon, the Sens need every point they can get. Although losing, they still grabbed a point from a remarkable side on their day. Unfortunately they had their day in front of the 16,894 in the Canadian Tire Centre.