Sometimes, the hockey gods are cruel. And sometimes, Carey Price just doesn’t want you to win. The Senators did everything they could to win after giving up the game’s first three goals to the Canadiens. Carey Price was spectacular, making 40 saves on the Senators, most of which you’ll be seeing on highlight reels for the next few days. Craig Anderson, who has recently shown signs of returning to his could-have-been Vezina trophy winning season form from last year, was not so great. He allowed 5 goals on 23 shots, including 3 on just the first 5 shots.
The Senators seemed to be in a great spot to begin the game, with a powerplay just a minute into the game. But poor positioning by Erik Karlsson at the offensive blue line, along with Kyle Turris not noticing Tomas Plekanec leaving the zone behind him, gave the Canadiens the lead. Plekanec shot down the ice for a short handed breakaway. Anderson was unable to make the save, and the Canadiens had the early 1-0 lead. Despite outplaying the Canadiens, the Senators were unable to even the score before allowing another two goals. The Canadiens took a 2-0 lead on the powerplay, thanks to a bullet of a shot from Max Pacioretty. Some good passing got the puck to Pacioretty in the high slot, who sent it over Anderson’s shoulder. The game’s third goal came just under two minutes later, as Mark Stone was unable to keep David Desharnais covered. He got around Anderson, and had a wide open net to deposit the puck. Despite only having 5 shots compared to the Senators’ 15, the Canadiens were up 3-0 just over 15 minutes into the first period. It was a questionable move by Senators coach Paul MacLean to leave Anderson in net after that third goal. Just two minutes after Desharnais’ goal, Clarke MacArthur continued his hot streak by tipping a Karlsson shot past Price, from about twenty-five feet away from the net. It’s MacArthur sixth goal in the past seven games, and he is just four goals shy of his previous best season total. Then seventy-two seconds later, Karlsson brought the Senators within one. It was one of the longest give-and-go’s you will ever see. Karlsson at the right point sent the puck across to Jason Spezza at the left point. As soon as the puck left his stick, Karlsson charged to the side of the net. Spezza sent Karlsson one of the nicest passes you will ever see. All Karlsson had to do was make contact with the puck, and that he did.
The second period started in a much slower fashion. No penalties were handed out, and no goals were scored in the first seventeen minutes. But what a wild last three minutes of the period it was. Bobby Ryan ended his scoring slump of six games (yes, for him that’s considered a slump – he’s pretty good) with one of the quickest releases that I – or anyone for that matter – will ever see. Eighty-four seconds later, Turris sped down centre ice with the puck, with MacArthur on his left, and Ryan on his right for a three-on-two. Turris passed to MacArthur at the blueline, then MacArthur found Turris again, right in front of the net. Turris deked Price out of position, and put the backhand by him. Tie game. I don’t think anyone was surprised about the Senators taking the lead. After 40 minutes, the Senators led in shots: 38-17.
The Canadiens came out in the third period looking a bit more like themselves. The Senators were no longer making the Canadiens look like
a peewee team the Buffalo Sabres, but they were by no means looking any less strong. The Canadiens tightened up defensively, causing some trouble for the Senators to enter the offensive zone and forcing much more time in the neutral zone for both teams than the previous two periods. After half a period of defense-first hockey, Brian Gionta sent Plekanec a breakout pass. Plekanec was being tailed by Jared Cowen, who dove forward, attempting to knock the puck off of Plekanec’s stick. Plekanec got the shot off, and Anderson made the pad save, only to have the puck hit the foot of Cowen, as he was getting back up. That tied the game at 4. The rest of the period was played very passively, both teams just wanting to get to overtime and each receive their point.
Overtime ended after just over twenty seconds, as the Senators were unable to clear the puck from their zone, and PK Subban put the interception past Anderson.
SENSHOT’S PLAYER OF THE GAME
Erik Karlsson had three points, including two in the span of seventy-two seconds. He now leads all NHL defencemen in scoring, and there is no sign of him slowing down.
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS
- Jared Cowen led the team in ice time. Jared. Cowen. He had just over twenty-five minutes. Milan Michalek and Colin Greening had eighteen and sixteen respectively, while guys like Ryan and Mika Zibanejad had fifteen and thirteen. Get Patrick Wiercioch back in the lineup, and give the guys who are producing the ice time they should be getting.
- I can’t imagine Robin Lehner not getting the start against the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon after Anderson’s performance.
- If it weren’t for two late game mistakes, the Senators would be on an eight game winning streak. As bad as this game went in the end, the team is playing some of its best hockey ever.
The Senators take on the Rangers at home on Saturday afternoon.