With what was essentially their AHL roster, the Ottawa Senators fell to the Canadiens 3-1 in the second installment of the renewed rivalry.
Ottawa spent the better part of the first 2 minutes just trying to keep the puck out of their zone, as Montreal was piling on the pressure early. Just as Ottawa was starting to get things going, Michael Sdao took the first penalty of the game, giving Montreal another 2 minutes of pressure around the Ottawa net. It was Ottawa however, that opened the scoring. At the 5 minute mark, Cory Conacher buried the rebound from a shot by Chris Wideman to give the Senators a 1-0 lead. Following Conacher’s goal, the shots and chances were mostly even until P.K. Subban took the first penalty for the Canadiens. The Senators weren’t able to score on the man advantage, but were given another chance just under 2 minutes later, as Michael Bournival was sent to the box. Before Bournival’s penalty ended, two more would be handed out, one to each team. David Desharnais‘ penalty gave the Senators what looked like nearly 40 seconds of 5 on 3, until Mark Stone took a penalty of his own. Alex Galchenyuk evened things up 20 seconds after Stone’s penalty expired, closing out the scoring in the first period.
Penalties continued to be common as Josh Gorges was called less than a minute in, and Sdao had to serve his second of the night 6 minutes in. By the end of the penalties, still no powerplay goals had been scored. The play went back and forth for the majority of the second period, as it had during the first. The goaltenders, Craig Anderson and Carey Price, continuing to make save after save. It wasn’t until 18 minutes in that the first (and only) goal of the period was scored. Tomas Plekanec scored on a slap shot from the slot to give the Canadiens the lead. I won’t say it was a boring period, but the most exciting part was when Kanye West called Jimmy Kimmel out on twitter.
The third period started in the same fashion, back and forth for the first few shifts. The Senators started to put together some quality chances at about the 5 minute mark, but couldn’t find the back of the net. The first goal of the period was scored around the 11 minute mark by the Canadiens. Daniel Briere set it up behind the Senators’ net, sending it in front to Max Pacioretty who just had to tap it home. A little over a minute later, Mark Borowiecki and Travis Moen started shoving, earning them two minutes each in the sin bin. Lots of chances on the ensuing 4 on 4, no goals to be had though. Near the 17 minute mark, Matt Kassian and Moen decided to drop the gloves, but it wasn’t much of a fight. After a swing by Kassian, Moen lost his footing, giving the referees all the time they needed to separate the two. Final score: Montreal 3, Ottawa 1. SENSHOT’S
PLAYER OF THE GAME:
It seems too easy to pick the lone goal scorer as the player of the game, but Cory Conacher had a lot of chances. He looked comfortable and confident on the ice. He was one of the few Senators to play well. The question of who will play with Clarke MacArthur and Kyle Turris is no longer being asked. With his play this preseaon, Conacher has proven he deserves a chance to play on the top 6 this year.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS:
- Despite all of the Canadiens’ penalties, the Senators were not able to score on the powerplay. It’s no reason to worry though, since the Senators only had two players in the lineup that will be seeing any PP time when the season is underway.
- Jim O’Brien, who was placed on waivers today, had his best game of the preseason. He obviously doesn’t want to play in the AHL, so he was probably hoping the GM of another team was watching, and was impressed enough to pick him up.
- Craig Anderson may have allowed 3 goals, but that’s also no reason to worry. Out of the 6 defencemen in front of him, only one of them was an NHLer .
- Matt Puempel and Curtis Lazar both made their NHL preseason debuts, but didn’t contribute too much. Puempel was practically invisible the whole night.
UP NEXT: The Senators play their final preseason game on Sunday in two split-squad match ups against the Islanders, one game in Ottawa, the other in Barrie. Expect even lineups between the two teams, who will want as many of their NHL players to play, as it is also the Islanders’ final preseason match up.