The Ottawa Senators picked up a much-needed win Wednesday night, polishing off the Edmonton Oilers by a final score of 5-2.
The victory came after losing 5-2 to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, so it was an interesting and rare look at how the Senators could bounce back. They’ve swallowed a pile of tough losses this season, including a 7-2 drubbing at the hands of the Minnesota Wild on Friday, and stared down a five-game losing streak.
But enough was enough and Ottawa rumbled into Oil Country with wounds and a grudge, looking to secure a measure of pride against the superior team.
The shots were relatively close, 26-25 in favour of the home team, and the Oilers did get on the board first thanks to a Jujhar Khaira goal in the latter half of the first period. Edmonton was out-chancing the visitors 20-1 at one point, too.
But then the Senators just…showed up.
Despite the Oilers dominating the run of play, Ottawa scored three unanswered goals to kick off the second period. If you’ve been watching Sens hockey this year, you know how big a deal that is. This is not a team that does well in the middle frame, but they were laying it down Tuesday in Edmonton.
Oscar Klefbom made it 3-2 at the end of the second period, but the Senators had the Oilers back on their heels going into the third.
And, amazingly, that was where it all went down. The Senators scored two more and closed the door, capturing the win for Craig Anderson in his first game back from injury.
This was, for all intents and purposes, a game of guts and endurance for the Senators and it illustrated exactly how they can steal a few dubs this season. Expectations are low, but D.J. Smith can get his squad going with a few more plucky pushes.
The Oilers mostly blamed the loss on a collapse of epic proportions and that’s a fair assessment.
“That’s not going to beat anyone,” said Leon Draisaitl. “Probably not going to beat an AHL team (playing) like that.”
The Senators, at this point, are the “anyone.” They are the team most other clubs overlook and the team everyone expects to beat. Going into Wednesday’s action, they were 29th overall with the worst power play in the NHL. They were a team intent on taking penalties and allowing a boatload of shots against.
And look, Wednesday’s game didn’t change that. It wasn’t a miracle, either. But it was a hard-fought triumph over a vastly better team. More of that would be nice for this group.
Photo credit: NHL.com