Tim Stutzle extends point streak to power Senators past Blues 7-2
OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators believed Tim Stutzle was something special when they drafted him in 2020. The 21-year-old has been making sure everyone else realizes it as well.
Stutzle had a pair of goals and an assist to lead the Senators to a 7-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday to extend his point streak to four games. He has four goals and six assists in that stretch and is tied for fourth for the most points in the NHL since Jan. 1 with 14 goals and 14 assists.
“I just try to play my game every night and get better every day at practice too and I think as a team we’re playing way better than we did,” said Stutzle. “We’re holding on to pucks making plays and it’s a lot of fun playing.”
Stutzle's teammates on the Senators are also enjoying his development.
“You guys can see it, his confidence is very high right now,” said Thomas Chabot. “He’s such a talented player. Anytime he gets the puck something happens and I think we’ve all seen that since he’s been here.
"Obviously, it’s taken to another level, but I think he’s going to keep that going."
The Senators (27-24-4) also had a solid contribution from captain Brady Tkachuk, who had a goal and two assists to extend his career-high point streak (5G, 6A) to seven games.
Shane Pinto, Alex DeBrincat, Drake Batherson and Ridley Greig also scored as Mads Sogaard made 30 saves for the win.
Greig scored the seventh goal, his first in the NHL.
“I felt pretty good,” said Greig. “Obviously with the scenario of the game with it being 6-2, but still pretty happy. Yeah, it was good.”
The Senators were coming off a disappointing 4-3 overtime loss to Chicago on Friday and were determined to play from start to finish. They also wanted to take advantage of the fact the Blues were coming off a 4-1 loss to the Avalanche on Saturday and travelled from Colorado, not to mention the trade of some key players in the past 48 hours.
“I think people on the outside made so much noise about losing to Chicago, but any team can beat any team, we’re witness to that,” said Senators coach D. J. Smith. “I think our guys knew we didn’t play the right way, they turned the page, which is a good sign because if you win a game you’re not going to be too high either and I think that’s where the leadership has gotten a lot better.”
Colton Parayko and Tyler Pitlick scored for the Blues (26-27-3), who traded veteran forward Ryan O'Reilly to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"It sucks to see guys go, but we have to figure out a way to do it without them," said Pitlick. ""There’s guys coming up, new bodies in the lineup. We just have to stick together and play as a team and good things will happen.”
Thomas Greiss stopped 27 shots in net for the Blues, who had little else going for them.
“They have to figure it out,” said head coach Craig Berube. “You’ve got to get over what’s going on. We have veterans in there that are good players and they’ve got to take control of the team and they’ve got to understand the situation we’re in."
Down 1-0 after the first, after Pinto opened the scoring on a pass from Batherson, Ottawa scored four consecutive goals in the second.
DeBrincat scored a one-timer on the power play to make it 2-0. Stutzle then got Greiss out of position for his 25th of the season and Tkachuk made it by 4-0 tipping in a Claude Giroux shot. Some smart passing allowed Batherson to get in on the action as he beat Greiss.
Stutzle scored his second goal of the game early in the second period, beating Greiss to make it 6-0. The Blues broke Sogaard’s shutout hopes when Parayko got a shot off through traffic and Pitlick scored his third of the season, tipping in Justin Faulk’s shot from the blue line two minutes later.
TRADED — The Senators acquired forward Julien Gauthier and a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2023 from the New York Rangers in exchange for Tyler Motte. Should the Rangers advance past the first round of the playoffs, the pick will improve to the lower of the Rangers’ or the Winnipeg Jets' 2023 sixth-round selection.
RECALLED — Ottawa recalled defenceman Dillon Heatherington from AHL Belleville Sunday morning. After missing Saturday’s game against Colorado with an undisclosed injury Torey Krug was back in the lineup for the Blues.
UP NEXT — The Senators are back in action Monday when they take on the Boston Bruins.
The Blues head to Carolina to face the Hurricanes on Tuesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 19, 2023.
Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press