Coming off the heels of an outrageous game 3, game 4 was set to become anything but similar. It wasn’t going to be the hard hitting goonfest that we had seen. What it needed to be was a complete home game much similar to the ones Ottawa had played all year. What we were instead treated to was a refrain from the Cardiac Kids last year. Thanks to a goalie change and a redirection, Ottawa wins this game 3-2 in OT and takes a big lead in the series 3-1.
The first period had me almost in fits. Not because of anything egregious, but because there were 2 squandered first period power plays that Ottawa could have taken advantage of. But that wasn’t going to be the storyline of this game, not by a long shot. The first period was a close checking affair, and save for an Erik Karlsson chance not even a minute into the period, this was one owned by Craig Anderson and Carey Price. Both goalie start this game exceptionally strong.
Enter Period 2. I know that seems like a skip, but Period 1 was a little bit of a dud. Save, save, blown power play, save, save, blown power play. We aren’t that interested in period 1, think of it as setting the stage for the next portion of the game. As I was saying, enter Period 2. This period was punctuated by a lack of capitalization. Whether it was Zack Smith storming the net and just not being able to put the puck across the crease, or Cory Conacher finding the side of the net, nothing was going passed Carey Price. And then, what we all feared would happen did. A miscommunication defensive zone coverage and all the sudden P.K. Subban was left alone in the high slot. All credit to Subban, he fired an absolute laser of a shot, that Anderson, despite how well he has played, had no chance on. With that the Habs took a 1-0 lead, and silence SBP. To make matters worse, a minute (62 seconds if we’re being exact) after the Subban goal, Alex Galchenyuk finally decided to make an appearance in this series and ripped one passed Anderson. Once again, an absolute beast of a shot, and whether you were cheering for the Sens or the Habs, you had to admire that snipe. All of the sudden though, this game is 2-0 Montreal, despite Ottawa having the momentum mere minutes before.
Despite the score of 2-0, this game was largely played incredibly evenly. Going into third period Ottawa needed to make a significant comeback. And that they did. The majority of the period was largely played back and forth. A chance here for Ottawa, zone possession time for Montreal. Zone Possession for Ottawa, a chance for Montreal. Until a Chris Neil cross crease feed for Mika Zinbanejad is redirected passed Carey Price. Full disclosure on this one, I was in a pub with a friend, who is a die hard Habs fan, and we discussed the goal. Despite the immediate satisfaction, after seeing the first replay I acknowledged that this was probably not a goal, redirect sure, but there may have been a push. I was proven wrong by the referees, and as Ottawa fans have learned in this series, it doesn’t matter how much we disapprove of a call, at the end of the day it’s what the whistle decided. This time, the whistle decided in our favour and we stole a goal.
With that puck in the net, it became heartbreak time. Those PeskySens summoned their Cardiac Kid forefathers of yesteryear and went to work in the fading minutes of this game. A scramble play in front of the crease, leads to Daniel Alfredsson behind the net who feeds the puck in front. Cue another scramble and Cory Conacher burying the puck with 22 seconds left. This game was tied and OT seemed inevitable.
With almost no time left on the clock, and Ottawa shot fired towards the Montreal net, and tweaked something in Carey Price. He went down awkwardly and Peter Budaj started this overtime period.
Possession was largely for the Sens as we got underway and it didn’t take long. Kyle Turris fired a shot in to traffic, it was blocked. The puck bounces back to Turris who quickly reload and dumps the puck once again towards the Montreal net. Raphael Diaz is parked in front of Budaj. Diaz, for some reason decides to try to elbow the puck away, and ends up deflecting the puck into the net, and once again Kyle Turris cements himself as an Ottawa OT Hero.
1 – New face to the goalie duel: Carey Price went down at the end of regulation. With this series now on the line, this adds a new theme to the goaltender duel we’ve been witnessing. Carey Price (aside from Game 3) and Craig Anderson have been lights out fantastic. No matter what team you’re a fan of, not enough can be said about the goaltending we have been witnessing. Does this now throw a wrench in the gears?
2 – That power play: It has got to get into gear. Has. To. Get. Into. Gear. The had 2 glorious chances with the crowd going crazy to take advantage of the…man advantage…and they didn’t. Game 5, this has to be better.
3 – Stepping up all over: All season long we have witnessed 4 lines running wild on the ice. Running wild in the good way. Tonight we saw exactly that, energy and production from every line. The guys played with tremendous heart and soul against a goaltender that looked poised to take the shutout.
SENSHOT PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Turris gets our nod tonight. Turris had a great game, full of body contact and possession. While it didn’t look like he was going to put anything on the board, he played great despite of that. Until. Until Kyle Turris decided to join the Sens legend club. For completing the comeback, and putting home another playoff OT goal, “Turry, Turry, Turry!” gets out nod for Player of the Game.
Up Next you ask? Next is elimination night on Montreal on Thursday. Puck drop is 7:00 PM . Ottawa has a hard road ahead of them, and after 2 monumental games they are going to need to keep themselves grounded. Regardless of that, we need to pump ourselves up.
GO SENS GO!