The Ottawa Senators aren’t quite at the “win or go home” stage of the NHL season, but they might as well be. The Senators went into this weekend outside of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, but within reach of three different teams (Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Detroit Red Wings). All started off according to plan on Saturday night, as the Senators used a hot power play to open up a quick 3-0 lead on the Washington Capitals. Mark Stone continued his hot hand, while Clarke MacArthur scored another goal as he works his way back into the lineup following a long injury. Mika Zibanejad broke the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his young career with a powerplay marker. Unfortunately, a quick early lead meant that the Capitals had all game to chip away at the lead, which they did. All was forgotten when Kyle Turris snagged a loose puck and pulled himself free for a breakaway before slotting it past Braden Holtby to secure the invaluable two points for the Senators. The victory pulled Ottawa within 3 points of all three teams that they are chasing.
Pittsburgh and Detroit both lost their Sunday games, leaving the door wide open for Ottawa to march in and join the four-way log jam at the bottom of the playoff picture. Despite strong play, the Senators just couldn’t get separation from the Toronto Maple Leafs last night. Captain Erik Karlsson scored a power play goal midway through the second period to tie the game at 1-1. The goal was the 21st of the season for Karlsson, giving the young Swede a new career high and Senators record for a defenseman. Toronto retook the lead shortly thereafter, but Mark Stone continued to shine with another powerplay marker early in the third period. The remainder of regulation and overtime solved nothing, and it took until the 7th round of the shootout for the Maple Leafs to squeak past Ottawa. The Senators secured
The Senators secured a lone point in the shootout loss, which might not be good enough. But we won’t know until this week is over. The Senators’ regular season schedule wraps up with a home game on Tuesday night against Pittsburgh followed by tilts with the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers. It’s not over until…
In OHL action, the Ottawa 67’s season has officially concluded. They lost game six of their opening round series against the Niagara Ice Dogs on the road to fall 4-2 in the series. On the one hand, it is a disappointing finish, considering the 67’s were the second seed in the Eastern Conference and opened up the series with a 2-0 lead before losing four straight games. On the other hand, the 67’s were predicted to be one of the worst teams in the league, and the entire group should feel proud of how they battled through adversity in the regular season (including losing starting netminder Liam Herbst for a significant stretch) to qualify for the playoffs.
For 67’s fans, the attention now turns toward the NHL draft. Captain Travis Konecny and sharpshooter Dante Salituro are both draft-eligible and had impressive seasons. Konecny had 29 goals, 39 assists, and 68 points, while Salituro lead the team in scoring and finished top 20 in the OHL with 37 goals, 41 assists, and 78 points.