Subban Tossed, Ottawa Senators Lose Wild One To Canadiens


91. Final. 4. 152. 3

Game Recap

If you were looking for a goaltending battle between the favourite for the Vezina Trophy and the hottest goalie over the last 25 games of the regular season, you were not going to find it in the first game between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens.

Quick passes and work down low in the corners helped Montreal take the early shot lead 6-3, but it was not to be as the Senators would take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission by an own goal from Andrei Markov. Andrew Hammond continued his stellar play from the regular season by saving all 8 shots he faced, including a knuckle ball bouncer that almost caught him off guard. Minutes later, Milan Michalek took a pass from Erik Karlsson at the blue line and dumped it in to the right of Carey Price. Mika Zibanejad pressured P.K Subban behind the net which caused the puck to find its way to the front of the net, onto Andrei Markov’s stick and between Price’s legs into the net.

The Senators would continue to slow down Montreal in the neutral zone by using the body, including Mark Stone laying out Brendan Gallagher at the Canadiens blueline which turned into a Stone shot off the crossbar.

The goals came quick and often as the second period began. The Senators came out with a little more speed before Devante Smith-Pelly was able to create an offensive chance beside the Ottawa net. Ottawa would take the shot lead 4-3  five minutes into the period. It was obvious that the pace of the game had picked up as both teams found themselves with odd-man rushes. Torrey Mitchell tied the up with a quick wrap around from behind the net after the Canadiens were able to confuse Hammond. 15 seconds later, Tomas Plekanec came down the side and snapped a shot between Hammond to take a quick lead.

Not even 10 seconds later Lars Eller took a selfish penalty by butt-ending Zibanejad in the face, followed by P.K. Subban taking a slashing penalty on Mark Stone in front of the Canadiens net. Kyle Turris would take a 2 minute roughing penalty as well.

Subban would get a 5 minute slashing penalty and a 10 minute game-misconduct.  The Senators would get a 4-3 Powerplay that didn’t produce much, but seconds after Turris jumped out of the box, he found the puck in front of the net and snapped a quick shot over the right shoulder of Price to tie the game at 2.

It didn’t take long for the Canadiens to re-take the lead as Ellar took a nice pass off a Cody Ceci mishap at the offensive zone and beat Hammond on a clear breakaway. And if you though that wasn’t enough, Mika Zibanejad would tie the game up 44 seconds later making it five goals in less than 5 minutes.

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  • The Canadiens would retake the lead with another 4th line goal by Brian Flynn after another defensive breakdown by the Senators. The period would end with 6 goals on 36 shots.

    The third period started off were the second period ended. Lots of chances for both teams including an early goal line chance by Curtis Lazar which was stopped by Price with an unorthodox save.

    Sens Army would take a collective deep breath as it was announced that Mark Stone would not return after one shift in the period. He would be spotted with his jersey and shoulder pads off and it was reported he was headed to a local hospital for x-rays on his right arm.

    Both teams would trade chances but it was the goalies who seemed to raise their play.Montreal would get the first powerplay of the third period as Eric Gryba would take down Gallagher as he rushed to the net after a Sens turnover in the neutral zone. Montreal would assume they scored but Hammond would get lucky as the puck would hit the post and stay out before the penalty expired.

    The Senators would throw everything they had at Price after pulling Hammond with just over a minute to go. Ottawa wouldn’t be able to gain possession and the Canadiens would end up winning the game 4-3.

    Notes and Observations

    • Although I was nervous when Mark Stone hurried off the ice after the Subban slash it is apparent that there more than likely won’t be any further discipline as Stone returned to the ice a couple minutes later and played out the remainder of the game.
    • both Hammond and Price looked a bit shaky over the course of the game. I understand Hammond’s nervousness as this was his first start in the NHL playoffs. He looked quite average on a couple of the Montreal goals. As for Price, I expected more from him. He seemed to have trouble with the traffic in front of him and it seemed as though the Senators were focused on shooting up top on him.
    • Montreal seemed to carry the play 5-0n-5 with the Senators making the most of their powerplay opportunities to keep pace.
    • Erik Karlsson finished the game with two assists but didn’t seem to have the jump I expected from him during his first playoff game as the teams Captain. Commentators also questioned his health numerous times during the night.
    • There were a lot of things I did not like about the Senators game tonight, one of which was their defensive zone coverage. At times it seemed as though the forwards weren’t sure where they needed to be during the Montreal cycle.
    • Food for thought: Hammond or Anderson in game 2?

    Up Next

    Game 2 goes Friday night at 7pm back at the Bell Centre. Senators fans will be looking for a bounce back game from Hammond, while the Canadiens will be looking to continue their offensive outburst. After the hits finished 44 – 42 I look to David Cameron to debate inserting Chris Neil or Zack Smith back into the line up to give the Senators a bit more grit and toughness. If the first game is any indication as to how this series will play out, we are all in for a hell of a ride over the next 3-6 games!