The Ottawa Senators played two back-to-back games against the teams in New York. The good news is that they beat the Rangers 6-2 on Monday night, which is a good result for them on the road. In fact, for this season’s rebuilding Senator’s team, it’s a good result any night. The bad news is that they ran into a challenge that was too much to overcome when they met the New York Islanders last evening. The Senators lost that game 4-1.
Actually, the Senators had taken a 1-0 lead in the first period when Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a short-handed goal, but that didn’t last long. The Islanders tied it less than a minute later and at that point basically the game was over.
At NHLTradeRumorTalk.com we cover Canadian teams mostly, but it’s worth talking a bit about the Islanders’ winning streak. The Islanders extended one of the team’s longest winning streaks in history when they beat the Senators. Specifically, the team’s win against the Senators was the team’s tenth straight.
Previously, the Islanders had a nine-game winning streak from December 31, 1989, to January 19, 1990. By beating the Senators, the Islanders garnered the second-longest streak in their franchise’s history. In 1982, at the height of the Islanders dynasty, they want an amazing 15 games in a row between January 21 and February 20, 1982.
The Senators play Thursday night at home against the Los Angeles Kings, who are having a tough time of it this season. As the Senators prepare for this game, there a number of news items are emerging from the team. In this post, I’ll try to keep Senators fans up to date on some of them.
Item One: Injury Reserve for Logan Brown and Scott Sabourin
Logan Brown will remain out after suffering an upper-body injury. He’ll be eligible to play against the Islanders the next time the two teams meet, which will be on November 9th. With Colin White missing with a hip injury, the Senators’ depth at center could be an issue. Brown has two assists in four games this season.
Scott Sabourin suffered a scary head injury (fortunately it was updated to be only a broken nose) early in the first period of the Bruins-Senators game when he tried to throw a body check on Bruins forward David Backes. Sabourin and Backes made head-to-head contact and Sabourin was knocked out cold. He crashed to the ice and remained motionless there more than 10 minutes as medical staff worked on him.
Fortunately, as I noted, it wasn’t as bad as it first looked. Sabourin’s injury will keep him out at least another game, and he’ll be eligible to return this Saturday against the Hurricanes.
Item Two: Anders Nilsson Had a Strong Game Against the New York Rangers.
Nilsson’s game against the Rangers was more than welcome after he was pulled from the game against the Islanders when he gave up four goals on 16 shots. Nilsson’s been playing okay but isn’t always getting much support from his team. His win against the Rangers was just the second of the season (it was his first on the road). He’s pretty solid (.922 save percentage in six games), but his 2-3-1 record and 3.12 GAA reflective his team’s rebuild as much as his innate skill.
Item Three: Ron Hainsey Scored His First Goal of the Season
If you’re going to score, you might as well make it matter. Ron Hainsey’s first goal of the year was a game-winner against the Rangers. The veteran defenseman snuck in (tough for Hainsey) from the point and scored on a Brady Tkachuk assist to put the Senators up 3-1. It was his first goal of the season and the eventual winner.
Not that Hainsey is much of a scorer, but he usually doesn’t go nine games without at least an assist. In fact, last season the 38-year-old veteran had five goals and 23 points in 81 games with Toronto. However, the Maple Leafs were a bit more offensively able than this season’s Senators.
Item Four: Brady Tkachuk Is a Scoring Machine – At Least for One Game
Tkachuk had a goal and an assist and tied for a game-high six shots against the Rangers. He’s a good-looking 20-year-old who can become a cornerstone for this young team. Although Tkachuk didn’t start the season strongly, he’s had two goals and five points over his last four outings. He’s building off his strong start as a rookie last season (22 goals) as a rookie.
Item Five: Jean-Gabriel Pageau Is Scoring Goals
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored twice against the Rangers on Monday and had a short-handed goal on Tuesday against the Islanders. It was the first two-goal game of the year for the 25-year-old, who has six goals and ten points in 14 games.
Item Six: Tyler Ennis Scores Power-play Goal
I make no bones about it; Tyler Ennis is one of my favorite players. So I’m happy to report that he scored a power-play goal in the win over the Rangers. It was Ennis’ third goal in the last four games after he had gone the first nine games of the season without scoring. That he’s starting to fire the puck on the net (he had six shots) is also good news. Ennis, who’s in his first season as a Senator, scored at least 20 goals in three seasons with the Buffalo Sabres.
What’s Next for the Ottawa Senators?
As noted, the Senators meet the Kings on home ice on Thursday evening. I’m looking forward to an Ottawa win, and I predict a 4-3 score with Anthony Duclair scoring.