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3 Takeaways From Senators’ 5-4 Loss to Avalanche

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The Ottawa Senators were defeated 5-4 by the Colorado Avalanche after a spirited comeback attempt. Tim Stutzle recorded yet another three-point game, Mads Sogaard made a number of important saves, and Claude Giroux‘s feud headlined some of the takeaways from this game.

The Senators were down 5-2 heading into the third period, and with goals from Travis Hamonic and Brady Tkachuk, they had some life in them. Late-game penalties (justified or not…) were costly to the team and may have been detrimental to the comeback.

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Frustrating Officiating Hurts the Senators

I am not the kind of person to talk and complain about a referee. In this game, however, there were a few situations where the team and the fans were rightfully frustrated.

In the first period, Ridly Greig was hit from behind by Cale Makar, and when Greig got up he took exception to the hit and gave Makar a cross-check to the back. Makar, who is one of the best skaters in the league, seemed to go down very easily. Greig definitely deserved a cross-checking penalty on the play, but Makar should have been penalized for the hit, too. I don’t like embellishment penalties as they are such a grey area, and the referees set a precedent that it was not going to be called. Remember that play, because we will come back to it later.

Ridly Greig Ottawa Senators
Ridly Greig, Ottawa Senators (Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

In the second period, the Avalanche scored their fifth goal in what was one of the most controversial goals I have ever seen. The Avalanche dumped the puck down the ice, and at the hash marks, there was a bit of a collision, though the puck didn’t seem to hit a player and slow down to negate an icing. Sogaard had his glove up, indicating there was a pending icing call, but after the puck bounced off of the backboards Jake Sanderson and Sogaard realized that it wasn’t icing. Sogaard went into the butterfly position and covered the puck with his blocker. After over four seconds of the puck covered, the Avalanche and Senators players assumed the whistle had gone and all gave up on the play and started skating away. Lars Eller shoved the puck and Sogaard’s pad through the crease to put it in after a confusing situation.

DJ Smith challenged the play for goaltender interference, and probably asked anything he could to understand what just happened. The goal stood to be the eventual game-winning goal.

In the third period, Bowen Byram and Claude Giroux…

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