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Senators win their first 2 home games vs. PHI/TBL

October 16, 2023, 3:49 AM ET [39 Comments]
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Guest Writer: Ken Hawkins (a.k.a. khawk)

After losing their season-opener game in Carolina, the Senators rebounded with a pair of home ice wins on the weekend. Winning their home opener against the Flyers was considered by many to be something of a foregone conclusion, but the match-up against the Lightning was anything but. Plus, the Lightning are one of a handful of teams where the points will really matter in the final tally down the playoff stretch.

Senators 5 vs. Flyers 2

Ottawa finally delivered on the promise of their improved roster in this game, and were the better team right out of the gate. They outshot the Flyers 25-9 in the first 2 periods, went 3-for-5 on the PP, and won the faceoff battle by a 62%-38% margin. Still, the Flyers managed to keep the game within reach, and Forsberg had to be sharp to ensure that the game didn’t get away from them despite a good all-round effort.

NHL Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1U64RWolos

Three Key Stats:
Chychrun had 2G-1A, and is really proving the value of a heavy point shot
Tkachuk, Stutzle & Giroux returned to form, with a combined 2G-3A
Zub, Kelly, and Hamonic led the team with 11 hits combined

Senators 5 vs. Lightning 2

Tampa Bay headed into Ottawa on the heels of a 6-4 loss to Detroit, and got very similar treatment in this game. The Senators played a very strong first period that saw them take a 1-0 lead and establish a 17-3 shot advantage. The Lightning got full marks for keeping it close in the 2nd period by tying the game at 1-1 and 2-2, but they were too often a step behind in this game. These teams will play again in less than 3 weeks, when Tampa Bay returns to Ottawa for a Hockey Night in Canada rematch.

NHL Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiaOtPlpiQ0

Three Key Stats:
Tkachuk, Stutzle & Giroux stayed hot with a combined 3G-2A and 19 shots
Korpisalo stopped 22/24 shots, and was not really to blame for the 2GA
Tarasenko was key early in this game, and finished with 1G-1A

The Senators will continue their first home stand of the season on Wednesday night with a game vs. the Capitals, followed by a pair of early tests against key divisional rivals from Detroit and Buffalo. Despite being early in the season those are points that none of the three young teams will want to yield, so it will be interesting to see how these divisional rivals match up against each other.

What did you think of this weekend’s games? Please leave your thoughts/comments below, and thanks for reading!
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