Sens fall to Blackhawks in OT after honouring legend Chris Neil

The Chicago Blackhawks came from behind for a 4-3 victory on the back of a two-goal performance by Patrick Kane, spoiling a memorable night for the Ottawa Senators. Blackhawks centre Andreas Athanasiou scored the game-winner 2:52 into overtime. Athanasiou scored on a tap-in after he and teammate Tyler Johnson made cross-crease passes on a two-on-one. […]
Photo: Rebekah Houter
Holden Gubb (left), 10, and Findlay Gubb (middle), 7, William Gubb (right), 12, are excited to cheer on their favourite team on a night when the Sens retired Chris Neil's number 25.

The Chicago Blackhawks came from behind for a 4-3 victory on the back of a two-goal performance by Patrick Kane, spoiling a memorable night for the Ottawa Senators.

Blackhawks centre Andreas Athanasiou scored the game-winner 2:52 into overtime. Athanasiou scored on a tap-in after he and teammate Tyler Johnson made cross-crease passes on a two-on-one.

The Senators honoured Chris Neil pre-game with a jersey retirement for his No. 25. The fans were all on their feet and cheered loud for the Sens legend when he came out. Guests for the ceremony included Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and Sens legend Chris Phillips.

The third period was full of action, with four goals. With the game tied after two periods, the pair of goals the Sens netted in the third gave them the 3-1 lead and what looked to be a path to victory.

Claude Giroux started the scoring in the third at 2:11 with his 22nd goal of the season. Alex DeBrincat was credited with the assist, getting his first against his former club.

DeBrincat is in his first season with the Sens after being traded from Chicago to Ottawa in the summer of 2022. DeBrincat spent his previous five years with the Blackhawks after they drafted him in 2016.

Brady Tkachuk scored just over three minutes after Giroux did at 4:53 to give the Sens a 3-1 lead and control of the momentum. Tkachuk buried the puck on a tap-in from Sens winger Drake Batherson.

The Blackhawks had other plans. They started their comeback shorthanded with a goal from centre Sam Lafferty at 10:49, making it 3-2 Sens. Lafferty scored on a breakaway beating Sens goalie, Mads Sogaard, glove side.

At 16:55, Kane netted his second of the night to tie the game at three, setting up overtime.

With Kane playing on the last year of his contract and speculation of a trade at the deadline, this could be the last time Sens fans see Kane in Ottawa with a Blackhawks jersey.

The Blackhawks got on the board first when the puck dropped to start the game.

Only 44 seconds into the game, on the Blackhawks’ second shot, they found the back of the net. Max Domi passed cross-crease to Kane, who buried his 10th goal of the season.

The Sens struggled with getting the puck out of their zone in the first period, with Chicago outshooting the Sens and taking the 1-0 advantage into the first intermission.

The Sens tied the game up at one each 7:31 into the second period with a goal from Shane Pinto. After a Derick Brassard shot from the point, Pinto got his stick on the puck, deflecting it past Blackhawks goalie Petr Mrazek.

The game was knotted at one after 20 minutes of play. The Sens picked up their pace in the second, outshooting the Blackhawks 11-6

The Sens remain at home through the weekend and play the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.

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