The good of the Ottawa Senators and the bad of the Ottawa Senators were both on display Saturday night in Montreal, but in the end the good was just good enough for Ottawa to start their 4 game road trip with a 4-3 overtime win. The win was their fourth in a row and moved them within 2 points of the final wildcard playoff spot, thanks to a Toronto loss.
The Senators wasted no time in getting on the board. Erik Condra’s cross-crease pass was knocked home by Colin Greening to get the Senators on the board just 13 seconds into the game. Ottawa then got into penalty trouble with Erik Condra taking a double minor for high sticking and during that kill Clarke MacArthur joined him in the sin bin for tripping. Ottawa killed off those penalties , but Montreal gained momentum and just past the midway point of the frame Daniel Briere was left alone on the doorstep and got three cracks at the puck, knocking the third one past Craig Anderson. Ottawa gained momentum back courtesy of Mark Stone, who tapped a bouncing puck past Josh Gorges and broke through the Montreal defense, putting an off-balance backhander past Carey Price for his first career NHL goal. Ottawa got a fortunate bounce just 14 seconds later and opened up a 2 goal lead when Condra’s pass attempt went off Francis Boullion’s skate through Price’s legs and Ottawa had momentum back.
The second period was largely uneventful as Ottawa did their best to protect the lead, keeping the shots against to a minimum while not taking many chances as the frame was scoreless with each team getting just 7 shots on goal.
It was the little Habs that got Montreal going early on, with Briere taking advantage of some shoddy defensive zone coverage and scoring his second of the game, before the third period was 2 mintues old. Captain Brian Gionta then tied the game knifing through the crease behind Anderson to find a loose puck, again with some weak in zone play. The teams went back and forth and both had opportunities to break the tie, but Price and Anderson was up to the task. P.K. Subban took a hooking penalty with 19 seconds left in the third, getting his stick into the midsection of Condra as the Senators was cruising toward the net looking for a rebound.
The penalty carried into overtime, and while still on the power play Clarke MacArthur used Stone as a screen and wired a wrist shot short side on Price to give the Senators a win on the road and all the good things that come with it.
SENSHOT’S PLAYER OF THE GAME
Mark Stone scored his first career goal and was a factor in a good way many times on the night, earning some OT power play time, and filling a role on the power play that he could find regular duty as – a big man with hands who can take abuse in front of the net and chip in rebounds.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Subban had some choice words post-game about the penalty that was called on him late in the third, saying it was personal. Its about time someone took the officiating heat off the Senators. Thanks P.K. By the way, putting your stick in someone’s stomach from behind and ride him into the boards, that is hooking.
- Kassian, the Senators’ good luck charm, earned his first point of the season on Stone’s goal.
- The Senators are 4-0 in this streak without captain Jason Spezza.
The Senators have a couple days off before they travel to Denver to face Nathan MacKinnon and the Avalanche on Wednesday night.