Mar 14, 2012; Montreal, QC, CAN; Montreal Canadiens left wing Erik Cole (72) scores a goal against Ottawa Senators goalie Ben Bishop (30) as defensmean Erik Karlsson (65) looks on during the first period at the Bell Center. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-US PRESSWIRE

Game Recap: OTT @ MTL - Habs Prevail In Shootout

Pre-Game Warmup

With the Boston Bruins free falling, the Senators have an opportunity to overtake them in the Northeast division giving them home ice for the first round. To do so, they’ll need to beat the persistent Montreal Canadiens who are only playing for pride at this point. Ben Bishop would get the start for the Sens while Carey Price would get the nod for the Habs. This is the first game of a home and home as well.

The First Period

This was one of the more entertaining periods betweent these two clubs. The highlight of the period was a Ben Bishop desperation save on Montreal to keep the game knotted at 0. However, 13:45 into the period the Habs would take the lead with Erik Cole knocking in his own rebound. Ottawa would respond under 30 seconds later though after some nice passing by the top line leading to an open net for Colin Greening. The period would end with a “fight” between Jared Cowen‘s fist and Petteri Nokelainen‘s face. 1-1 after one.

The Second Period

The second period would feature numerous opportunities, with both teams getting powerplays. The prevelent call was goalie interference, with two called on Ottawa and one on Montreal. However, poor execution by both led to a scoreless period. Still tied at 1 after two periods.

The Third Period

Montreal would come right out of the gate in the third scoring 24 seconds in on a David Desharnais tip. They would keep the Sens chances to a minimum for most of the period. However, they couldn’t stop Erik Karlsson who would wrist his 70th point of the year to tie the game at 11:01. The rest of the period would remain scoreless, meaning OT would be needed tied at 2.

OT

Thomas Plekanec almost put the Sens away with a wrister that had Bishop beat but would find iron. On the counter, Matt Gilroy would be staring at an open cage but would miss the net on the backhand. With no goal scored after 5, a shootout would be required.

Shootout

David Desharnais would get the lone shootout goal and Daniel Alfredsson would have his perfect shootout record this year snapped. Habs win 3-2.

+ Pluses +

+ Erik Karlsson – Karlsson is on pace to get 80 points which would be a ridiculous number for a 21 year old defenceman. With every point you would hope his odds of winning the Norris increase.

- Minuses -

– Turnovers – Too many turnovers by the Sens in their own zone, especially in the 2nd. Hard to get a breakout going when you’re giving the opposition the puck on your side of the ice.

Game Highlights

Will Post When Available

*** Senshot’s Three Stars ***

* David Desharnais – Scored Montreal’s 2nd goal as well as the lone shootout goal.

** Carey Price: 35/37 – Had a few difficult saves and made all the easy saves he needed too. Didn’t allow any goals in the shootout.

*** Ben Bishop: 24/26 – Made some huge saves for the Sens to keep them in the game, including the highlight reel save on the 2 on 1 early in the first.

Final Thoughts

A decent game by Ottawa in which they could have easily won. For some reason the Habs seem to have the Sens number this season, but no worries as there’s zero chance of meeting them in the postseason. Jason Spezza seemed a bit off tonight which could be due to a nagging injury or the fact his wife was soon to give birth. Either way, the Sens will need a healthy and mentally prepared Spezza if they hope to have any chance in the playoffs. The Bingo line of Daugavins, Smith, and Condra continue to struggle offensively. If they don’t change that soon they may find their roles on the team gone next season. The Sens return home to host Montreal on Friday. Until next time, Go Sens Go!

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