With just one victory in their last nine games (1-7-1), the Senatorshad been looking to build off a win against Philadelphia Saturday afternoon, but fell short.
They could easily throw their hands up in frustration, but forward Claude Giroux said the team is instead focusing on the positives.
“I think we did a lot of good things,” said Giroux. “We had a lot of chances, we played well offensively and I thought we were going to come back and tie it up.”
Ottawa had opportunities, but went 1-for-6 with the man advantage, scoring their lone power-play goal on a five-on-three.
“They have a good power play, but we were well-prepared and I thought the guys battled hard,” said Pageau. “A lot of sacrifice, a lot of blocked shots, a lot of battles that we won, and (Semyon Varlamov) in net was outstanding. He made some really amazing saves for us.”
Senators coach D.J. Smith couldn’t fault his team for its effort, but said they need to take advantage of opportunities.
“It’s not for a lack of chances or effort,” said Smith.
“I think if you go back there’s going to be some grade “A” ones that (Varlamov) stops. That’s not going to happen every night. There’s going to be nights where the power play’s no good and it’s unorganized. That wasn’t the case. We’ve got to find a way to get the second one there on the power play and go 2-for-6 and then we have to kill the penalty in the third period.”
The Islanders took a 1-0 lead on Wahlstrom’s power-play goal midway through the first period.
Ottawa managed to tie the game during a brief two-man advantage midway through the second period. Batherson one-timed a pass from Tim Stutzle to score his second goal in 11 games.
The Islanders regained the lead late in the period when Ottawa failed to clear the puck, and Dobson was able to pick it up inside the blue line. The Islanders defenceman fired a puck that then deflected off Ottawa’s Mark Kastelic and past Talbot.
Leading 2-1 to open the third it was a familiar foe who gave the Islanders a two-goal lead midway through the period. Pageau, a fan favourite during his time in Ottawa, picked up a rebound in front and scored a power-play goal to make it 3-1.
Giroux then scored to cut the lead to one, 3-2, at the 13-minute mark off a behind-the-back pass from Brady Tkachuk.
With Talbot pulled for the extra man Ottawa looked for the equalizer, but Nelson scored an empty-net goal to seal the victory.
“We had two good chances at the end of the game, but there was lots of time left and we have to hold on to the puck and wait until there’s a breakdown,” said Giroux. “It’s something we’ve worked on, but something we have to keep working on.”
New York is now 6-0-0 for scoring the first goal of the game.
“It’s nice to score the first goal, that’s for sure,” said Islanders head coach Lane Lambert. “We’ve had some comebacks, too, but tonight I thought we did a really good job with the lead and it was really a character win. We fought through a lot of adversity tonight.”
A rare 5:30 p.m. start for the Senators allowed fans to watch Daniel Alfredsson’s induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The early start made for a small crowd, but they showed their respect for Alfredsson, who has spent 17 seasons with the Senators, by chanting his name at 11:11 of each period.
The induction was shown on the big screen following the game and numerous players joined fans to watch Alfredsson’s acceptance speech, including current Senators captain Brady Tkachuk.
“He’s a legend here and it was important for us to show our support to him and almost say thank you for everything he’s done for us,” said Tkachuk. “It’s an amazing accomplishment and achievement that he gets to celebrate with family and friends. It’s well deserved.”
INTERESTING FACT OR STAT
Claude Giroux is on a nine-game point streak (6G, 7A). Giroux has more points against the Islanders than any other opponent, with 24 goals and 46 assists in 65 games.
With Thomas Chabot sidelined with a concussion the Senators recalled Jacob Larsson from AHL Belleville. The 25-year-old Larsson is making his Senators debut. Ottawa also remains without D Artem Zub, who is dealing with an upper body injury.
The Senators host the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday night, while the Islanders head to Nashville to take on the Predators Thursday night.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 14, 2022.
Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press