The Ottawa Senators travelled to the Bell Centre to face the Montreal Canadiens for tonight’s game. This is the third meeting between these two teams, with Montreal taking the first two. This will also be the first game for the Habs since trading away Michael Cammaleri. Starting goalies would be Craig Anderson for Ottawa, and Carey Price for Montreal.
The First Period
The first period would be rather uneventful. There would be no scoring with Montreal barely outshooting Ottawa 9-7. The most controversial moment in the period ended up in the Sens favour. Early in the period the Habs would have a goal disallowed with the refs deeming Andrei Kostitsyn guilty of goalie interference as he stood in the crease. Montreal fans will say that Kostitsyn was pushed into the crease by Milan Michalek (which he was). However, Sens fans would come back with the fact Kostitsyn made no effort to get out either. The refs seemed to agree with Ottawa’s point of view and the period would end at 0-0.
The Second Period
The second period was controlled by Montreal. Craig Anderson was the star of the period, turning away several good chances by the Habs who outshot Ottawa 12-6 in the period. Nevertheless, the Sens nearly took the lead ringing one off the post late in the period. Both teams continued to take numerous penalties, with both having 10 PIM each at the end of the second. There would be no impact to the score though as the powerplays for both sides were awful. The score would remain 0-0 heading into the third.
The Third Period
Things would finally break out in the third. Just 42 seconds in, Tomas Plekanec would strip Erik Karlsson of the puck to score on a shorthanded breakaway, squeezing one through Anderson’s pads. The goal appeared to wake up the Sens as they would dominate the remainder of the period. Kyle Turris would get his 2nd of the year tipping Sergei Gonchar’s point shot past Price. Later Plekanec would be the goat as he would high stick Zack Smith and draw blood resulting in a 4 minute double minor. The Sens would capitalize with Jason Spezza sniping one top corner on a nice screen by Milan Michalek. However, with the goalie pulled in the last minute Max Pacioretty would put home a rebound goal to tie the game. Montreal would shoot themselves in the foot before the period ended though as Josh Gorges would flip the puck over the glass with under 30 seconds left in the period. The Sens would remain on the PP heading into OT tied 2-2.
The Sens 4 on 3 powerplay would be less than stellar in the overtime period. The OT would end with no goals scored, meaning a shootout was in order.
After unsuccesful attempts by Lars Eller, Milan Michalek, Tomas Kaberle, Jason Spezza, and Max Pacioretty, none other than the captain Daniel Alfredsson would be up with the game on the line. He’d make no mistake, putting one right through Price’s five hole. Ottawa wins 3-2!
+ Pluses +
+ Sergei Gonchar: I actually though this was one of Gonchar’s better games this season. He was solid defensively and was responsible for the tying goal.
+ Penalty Kill: The Sens penalty kill was perfect tonight going 5 for 5. It was essential seeing how bad Ottawa’s power play was.
+ Third Period: As usual, Ottawa’s best period was the third. They didn’t panic when they went down by one and almost won in regulation.
- Minuses -
– Jared Cowen: Cowen seemed to struggle a bit tonight getting caught flatfooted several times. It looks like he still has a bit of adjustment to do when facing the faster forwards in the league.
– Power Play: Although the Sens did manage a power play goal, the rest of their power plays were horrid (going 1/8). They were scored shorthanded against and didn’t produce many chances. They had a chance to put the game away in OT with around a minute and a half of 4 on 3 and didn’t.
Will post when available.
*** Senshot’s Three Stars ***
* Craig Anderson: 33/35 – Stopped all three shooutout attempts against as well as keeping the Sens tied heading into the third. Without him, the game is probably over after the second period.
** Daniel Alfredsson: SO Winner – Captain clutch. Nothing else to say.
*** Jason Spezza: 1G 0A – Nearly had the GWG on a beautiful slapshot on the powerplay.
This was an awful game to watch as a Sens fan for the first two periods. Ottawa had nothing going for them and looked very flat. Once Montreal scored in the 3rd though, the “real” Ottawa team appeared to break out. They dominated the Habs and probably deserved to win in regulation with their play. Craig Anderson continues to impress and make up for those early struggles he had. He’s become an essential part of this run that Ottawa’s on. Nevertheless, he will need a rest soon so he doesn’t get worn down if Ottawa ends up making the playoffs. Lastly, how about Daniel Alfredsson. At this rate he will definitely be back next year and the retirement ceremonies will have to wait. Until next time, Go Sens Go!
Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.
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