Namestnikov stars as Sens beat Lightning for first win – TSN

Namestnikov stars as Sens beat Lightning for first win - TSN
Senators recent trade pays dividends in 1st win of season
16h ago Namestnikov stars as Sens beat Lightning for first win Vladislav Namestnikov scored his first two goals for his new team late in the third as the Senators topped the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on Saturday for Ottawas first win of the season. The Canadian Press

Vladislav Namestnikov scored his first two goals with his new team, helping the Senators to their first win of the season, and giving D.J. Smith his first win as an NHL head coach.

I think I must be jaded as a Sens fan, because after two strong periods, I expected the Sens to fade in the third. Again, they proved me wrong. Sure, the Bolts got the first goal of the period (Luke Witkowskis first since February 2018), but the Sens had the bulk of possession. Ottawa looked to fall behind on a Nikita Kucherov goal, but the refs (correctly) ruled it was goalie interference before the Sens could even challenge. That set up the Sens to take the lead with three minutes to go off the stick of newcomer Vladislav Namestnikov. Namestnikov doubled up his goal tally with an empty-netter late, sealing the victory, and giving Jean-Gabriel Pageau the Gordie Howe hat-trick.

Namestnikov put away the winner 16:57 into the third and added an empty-netter with just seconds remaining as the Senators topped the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on Saturday.

Youve probably got used to new recap format, but just to remind you, were trying to focus less on recapping the events of the game, since you can find that on any sports website and also by watching the highlight reel. Instead, were looking for things that stood out from the game. I decided to copy someone whose name rhymes with Sand In Khaki, and couple my thoughts from the game with puns. Heres what stood out to me:

“Its a long time you spend to get to this league and its hard, certainly, to win. We earned it tonight,” said Smith.

It looked like Tampa Bay took a 3-2 lead just past the mid-way point of the third, but after a Brady Tkachuk penalty at 11:50 made it 4-on-4, a Nikita Kucherov goal was called back.

The first period was scoreless, but really shouldnt have been. The shots were 12-5 Ottawa, despite Tampa getting two powerplays to Ottawas one. Without Curtis McElhinney, this couldve been a very different first period.

“It was back and forth in the third. It didnt look good. We got a call overturned and we found a way to win,” said Smith. “Its taken 16 years to get here as a coach. You didnt foresee losing the first three as a coach but it is what it is and we got a win here tonight.”

Colin White and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored as the Senators (1-3-0) stopped their franchise-worst start to a season.

Game Flow:(the line moves upward every time Ottawa got a shot attempt, and the reverse is true for Tampa)

Ottawa got 19 saves from Craig Anderson, who returned to the crease after watching his team let in six goals in Thursdays 6-4 loss to the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.

"I know Dave’s not into hockey but he’s won a tremendous amount of games and titles here and he’s a guy I talk to on a daily basis to bounce things off, and it helps me out."

Ondrej Palat and Luke Witkowski replied for Tampa Bay (2-2-1), while Curtis McElhinney stopped 30 shots in net.

Smith, who earned his first victory as an NHL head coach Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, confirmed a report from earlier in the day that Smart has been added to his staff.

WARREN: Senators first win of season is all in the details

Namestnikov was drafted by the Lightning in 2011 and had notched only an assist in his Senators debut on Thursday after he was traded from the New York Rangers to Ottawa on Monday.

Carleton Ravens head coach Dave Smart (centre) is moving into a new role as Director of Basketball Operations at the school. (Chris Young/CP)

“It feels great,” said Namestnikov of the win. “Start was 0-3 but it was definitely important to get this win and (have) positive vibes and now we move forward.”

"He’s a consultant but he’s more of a senior coach," Smith said after Ottawa’s 4-2 win over Tampa Bay.

The line of Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, and Nikita Kucherov — who combined for five goals and 11 points in the Lightnings game against Toronto — were held scoreless by Ottawa.

“We were driving the play against Toronto and today Ottawa was driving the play against us,” he said. “Its not up to our standard thats for sure.”

Smart led the Ravens to 13 USports national championships in his 20-year tenure at the Ottawa school.

Mark Borowiecki nearly broke it open early for the Senators, hitting the crossbar less than a minute into the game.

eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],thehockeywriters_com-medrectangle-4,ezslot_1,628,0,0]));The Senators outshot the reigning Presidents Trophy winners 34-21. Tampa Bay looked sluggish at times Saturday after its seven-goal outburst against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.

But the Senators — who came into the game last in the league on the power play — couldnt capitalize on any of their opportunities, including going 0 for 2 with the man advantage.

Tampa Bay served two avoidable penalties early in the second, as the Lightning got dinged for having too many men on the ice and then Erik Cernak was booked for playing the puck with his hands.

The Senators couldnt convert on the 5-on-3 or with the man advantage, continuing their scoreless streak on the power play.

eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],thehockeywriters_com-banner-1,ezslot_7,632,0,0]));It looked like the Lightning took a 3-2 lead just past the mid-way point of the third, but after a Tkachuk penalty at 11:50 made it 4-on-4, a Kucherov goal was called back.

But after Tkachuk poked a bouncing puck across to Bobby Ryan as he fell to the ice, Ryan found a wide-open White who ripped a wrist shot over McElhinneys glove. White recorded his first goal of the season at 13:44 of the second.

Founded in 2009, The Hockey Writers is a premier destination for news and information on everything hockey. Updated daily with news and features from over 130 writers worldwide. Over 2 million monthly readers now come to THW for their hockey fix.

Team bonding is the upside to an early Lightning road trip

The Ottawa faithful barely had enough time to sit down after Whites goal when Palat notched his third of the season for the Lightning just 33 seconds later to tie the game at 1-1.

Senators forward Artem Anisimov did not return for the third period with a lower body injury… Ottawa concludes a four-game homestand Monday against the Minnesota Wild. Tampa Bay is in action next against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Ottawa Senators preview: Bolts face the worst team in the East

With 27 seconds left in the second period, Pageau scored his first goal of the season after chipping in a bouncing puck under the glove of Anderson. Pageau also assisted on Namestnikovs empty-netter.

But after Brady Tkachuk poked a bouncing puck across to Bobby Ryan as he fell to the ice, Ryan found a wide-open White who ripped a wrist shot over McElhinneys glove. White recorded his first goal of the season at 13:44 of the second.

Defenceman Nikita Zaitsev was key on the defensive side, neutralizing Kucherov and made an important stop early in the third to preserve the Senators one-goal lead.

OTTAWA — Vladislav Namestnikov scored his first two goals for his new team late in the third as the Senators topped the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on Saturday for Ottawas first win of the season.

But Witkowskis wrist shot from the left circle tied the game at 2-2. His first goal of the season came at 8:56 in the third.

“When we looked at the video of the Tampa Bay-Toronto game, Tampa did all the little things, whether it was backchecking or getting stick on puck or getting in people’s way,” said Anderson. “You watch and you see. The video doesn’t lie. Sometimes, you don’t get rewarded, but (Saturday), we got rewarded. We’re starting to do things the right way, the proper way. Hopefully, there a few more victories in our future.”

Still, Smith said his team performed its best defensively all year and they — and he — were rewarded with their first win of the young season.

Point finished the game with a plus/minus of minus-3. Stamkos was a minus-2. Kucherov was a minus-2 and had a grand total of zero shots on goal. One of those negatives came after Namestnikov twisted around Point and Kucherov inside the Lightning blueline before setting up Pageau for his goal. If you want to keep the best offensive players from performing their magic, keep them in their own zone.

“I thought (this) was our best effort defensively and the way we played away from the puck,” said Smith. “We played hard tonight and if we play like that were going to give ourselves a chance to win.”

“He dropped the gloves,” said Pageau. “It’s part of the game, no one got hurt. It’s just nice to have a five-minute (penalty) sometimes. I think in Toronto, he was their best player all night. We’re winning with him sitting five minutes in the box. We’re not losing much with me sitting for five. I think it was a good exchange for us.”

Notes: Senators forward Artem Anisimov did not return for the third period with a lower body injury… Ottawa concludes a four-game homestand Monday against the Minnesota Wild. Tampa Bay is in action next against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

The Lightning had every opportunity to take control when Scott Sabourin took back-to-back penalties midway through the first period, but managed zero shots on goal with the two power plays. After plenty of sloppiness in the opening two games, the Senators penalty killing has been much sharper in the past two outings.

Namestnikov put away the winner 16:57 into the third and added an empty-netter with just seconds remaining as the Senators topped the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on Saturday.

However, they immediately skated into a wall, with the Senators top defensive pair of Thomas Chabot and Nikita Zaitsev moving the puck quickly and being physical against the top trio. There wasn’t a whole lot of flash to Chabot’s game Saturday, but it was his best all-around game of the season.

"It's a long time you spend to get to this league and it's hard, certainly, to win. We earned it tonight," said Smith.

It looked like Tampa Bay took a 3-2 lead just past the mid-way point of the third, but after a Brady Tkachuk penalty at 11:50 made it 4-on-4, a Nikita Kucherov goal was called back.

“It’s all the little things that lead up the big thing,” said Anderson, who had a relatively quiet afternoon himself, facing only 21 shots. “It’s the stuff that doesn’t get brought up on the scoresheet that wins hockey games.”

"It was back and forth in the third. It didn't look good. We got a call overturned and we found a way to win," said Smith. "It's taken 16 years to get here as a coach. You didn't foresee losing the first three as a coach but it is what it is and we got a win here tonight."

Colin White and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored as the Senators (1-3-0) stopped their franchise-worst start to a season.

Ondrej Palat and Luke Witkowski replied for Tampa Bay (2-2-1), while Curtis McElhinney stopped 30 shots in net.

Namestnikov was drafted by the Lightning in 2011 and had notched only an assist in his Senators debut on Thursday after he was traded from the New York Rangers to Ottawa on Monday.

"It feels great," said Namestnikov of the win. "Start was 0-3 but it was definitely important to get this win and [have] positive vibes and now we move forward."

The line of Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, and Nikita Kucherov — who combined for five goals and 11 points in the Lightning's game against Toronto — were held scoreless by Ottawa.

"We were driving the play against Toronto and today Ottawa was driving the play against us," he said. "It's not up to our standard that's for sure."

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