The Senators faced the Montreal Canadiens for the second time this year, losing the first by a single goal early in November. Senators had a four game point streak entering the Christmas break while Montreal on the other hand had dropped five staright and was win-less with new coach Randy Cunneyworth. Sens hoped to take advantage of the struggling Habs however a different outcome awaited them:
Sens started strong getting the a few shots early before finding the back of the net less than 2 minutes in. It was Zack Smith credited with the goal, with assists coming from Greening and Gonchar, that gave Sens an early 1-0 lead. It was really only downhill from there though. The dreaded Habs would then score 3 unanswered goals on a mere five shots to end the period 3-1. It started with a shorthanded goal from Lars Eller just minutes after Smith’s tally. It followed with a goal tipped in by Plekanec off a shot by Diaz. Finally, Camellari increased the lead to 2 to end the period. After two it was 3-1 for the Habs even though they were out shot 13-5 by the Sens.
After allowing 3 goals on 5 shots in the opening frame, it was still Craig Anderson leading the Sens onto the ice in the second, though he wouldn’t last the whole period. Louis Leblanc scored just minutes into the period sending Anderson to the bench in favour of backup Alex Auld. Anderson finished the night with 4 goals against on just 7 shots, for an atrocious .429 sv%. Auld was tested quickly and beaten just as fast as Subban made it 5-1 just three minutes later. Jason Spezza gave the Sens their second of the night after firing in a rebound of a shot by Milan Michalek, who returned from a five game absence due to concussion. It hardly made a difference for Sens fans however as they still saw their team enter the second intermission down by three.
Sens already seemed to be out of the game trailing 5-2 to begin the period. Though Ottawa fans know better than anyone the kind of comebacks this team is capable of, it was unlikely. The outcome was solidified when Cole got a power play goal increasing their lead to 4 goals with just five minutes left. The Sens shot themselves in the foot, and were unable to make up for their mistakes as they lost 6-2 to the struggling Montreal Canadiens.
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Milan Michalek – Finished with an even plus/minus, despite the 4 goal differential favouring the Habs in the game, and had an assist in his first game back from his concussion.
Erik Karlsson – A team worst minus-3 on the night, with the next closest players at minus-1, Karlsson had bad turnovers and sloppy play throughout the game. He seemed out of it and was just not the same player we’ve been seeing lead the league in defensive scoring.
Craig Anderson - Was just not good enough as he couldn’t even stop half of the 7 shots he faced. Never had a save to give Sens the momentum back.
The Sens honestly just didn’t play well enough. They got the first goal and were decent overall in the first (even with 3 goals against) getting 13 shots in the opening frame. The problem was that any single chance against resulted in a goal. With the Sens getting the first power play minutes in after already leading 1-0, it was Montreal who scored. The shorthanded goal really seemed to be a momentum shift and the game got more disappointing as it went on. Some odd goals and odd situations found the puck behind Anderson four times in just over twenty minutes, and though not all his fault, the Sens need him to make some of those saves. The new Sens scoreboard even went out in the third, ultimately showing the complete failure of this game. The Sens next game isn’t until Friday but they will be on the ice for Sens Skills tomorrow. Hopefully the relaxing fun competition will lead the Sens back on track. Until then, GO SENS GO!
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