GARRIOCH: Ottawa Senators give Chicago Blackhawks the chance to celebrate their first win of the season

Article content

The Ottawa Senators let the Chicago Blackhawks off the mat Monday night.

Advertising

Article content

And as a result, the senators took one on the chin, and coach DJ Smith was not happy.

Matt Murray started a back-to-back series that continues Tuesday in Minnesota, and Matt Murray was not very good in the third period, but again there were not many of the senators when the club dropped a 5-1 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks , which ended. their nine games without a win (0-7-2) to start the season led by a Patrick Kane hat trick.

“Too many passengers and we did not have good legs for some reason,” said a frustrated Smith. “We were not sharp. Right from our first powerplay we had a good look and we just did not manage the fights and they scored and we got a little frustrated.

“We worked uphill all night. Give them credit, Kane came to play and he separated us. We had tons of momentum in the first period, they scored, and then we just didn’t stick to what we do. I thought we had too many guys who did not commit to defense to win a game in the NHL, they saved their energy on going on offense and we have to come back to play a 200 foot game. “

Advertising

Article content

The decision to start Murray surprised some, but he is the club’s No. 1 goalkeeper, and Ottawa must focus on getting him back on track. He had not played since suffering a neck injury after being hit in the fold by New York’s Chris Kreider in a 3-2 loss to Rangers on Saturday at home.

Back after spending 11 days in the COVID-19 protocol, Kane scored his third of the night at 7:17 in the third, and it was the seventh of his career. Ottawa has not won this building since December 20, 2016, and this is the last time this club beat the Hawks.

Murray gave up two soft goals in 55 seconds, Brandon Hagel and Kane, allowing the Hawks to pull out to a 4-0 lead. Both goals were their second in the match, and even though Alex Formenton pulled Ottawa to within a goal just 19 seconds after that 1:41 sequence, it was too little, too late.

Advertising

Article content

Murray had played strongly in the two appearances he made before leaving the match and the club will need him to bear the burden of competing this season. Yes, Filip Gustavsson was strong to start this road trip with 38 saves in a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Friday, but he gets his chance against the Minnesota Wild Tuesday.

Patrick Kane # 88 of the Chicago Blackhawks shoots in front of Chris Tierney # 71 of the Ottawa Senators to score a third period goal for a hat-trick at the United Center on November 1, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
Patrick Kane # 88 of the Chicago Blackhawks shoots in front of Chris Tierney # 71 of the Ottawa Senators to score a third period goal for a hat-trick at the United Center on November 1, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel /Getty pictures

“The third (target) is a kind of killer. If it does not go in, then we do not have to open so much and we can stick to our structure and keep playing,” Murray said. “The third is me. If it does not go in, it might be another game. I thought that was the turning point. “

And the Senators got off to a good start in this one, could not finish around Fleury and had a difficult second period where the club came back with 2-0 to the Hawks.

Advertising

Article content

The Senators looked good on a late powerplay by moving the puck around and creating chances on Fleury, but other than that buzz, there wasn’t much. They were beaten 15-6 by the Hawks, and by the second TV timeout, it was 13-1 to Chicago, so they can not complain about the effort they got from Murray.

Reese Johnson # 52 of the Chicago Blackhawks puts Alex Formenton # 10 of the Ottawa Senators against the boards at the United Center on November 1, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
Reese Johnson # 52 of the Chicago Blackhawks puts Alex Formenton # 10 of the Ottawa Senators against the boards at the United Center on November 1, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel /Getty pictures

If this club is to be successful, senators need to be better at their own end than they were at this one because the mistakes they make end up in the Ottawa network.

The Hawks pulled out to a 2-0 lead just 2:09 inside the second with Drake Batherson in the box to hold. That was when Kane scored his second of the season by beating Murray with a backhander, and suddenly the Senators found themselves in a hole after starting strong.

Advertising

Article content

Although they outplayed the Hawks, they were trailing 1-0 thanks to a late goal by Brandon Hagel with just 49.2 seconds left of the period.

With the Senators trapped on the ice in a long shift, Chicago had its best pressure of the period, and Hagel fired a shot from Murray after Nikita Zaitsev blocked a shot. The Senators outscored the Hawks 13-8 during that period, and Ottawa had forced Marc-Andre Fleury to make some big stops.

“We’ve talked a lot about showing our own identity and this one of those games where we did not show it at all,” said deputy captain Thomas Chabot. “We did not play our game and this was like a group. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror, but that’s the great thing about hockey, we get a chance to do it in less than 24 hours.”

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

Twitter: @sungarrioch

Advertising

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications – you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, which is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on adjusting your email settings.

Leave a Comment