The Ottawa Senators have been woeful since their six-game win streak. The weekend defeats to the Montreal Canadiens leaves them with two points from four games.
Dark horses of the NHL this season, the Ottawa Senators, were quietly going about their business in the Atlantic Division. Coming away with one point from two games against the division leaders leaves the nastiest of tastes.
Going into the weekend the Ottawa Senators were 8-2-1 against the Montreal Canadiens. Even with the coaching change there was room for optimism given that the Ottawa Senators beat Claude Julien’s Bruins 3-1 on Nov. 25.
Montreal were simply the better team in both games. An argument could be had about the first, in that they were in it the whole game and probably should’ve seen the game off in overtime. For me, the turning point of the entire weekend was Montreal coming back from 2-1 down to lead 3-2. This was the momentum changer that didn’t stop until late Sunday night. Let’s take a look at each game separately.
Game One @ Canadian Tire Centre
A game jam-packed with playoff intensity with a vast amount of Habs fans in the building. A scoreless first frame left both sets of fans gnawing through their fingernails. The third minute of the second period would give the Montreal Canadiens a much desired lead. Andrew Shaw tucking it past Craig Anderson.
The Ottawa Senators would even things up on the powerplay from Derick Brassard who has finally come into form of late without troubling the scoresheet. His first goal in five games since March 6th against Boston.
Just like London buses, the Sens were made to wait, but when it finally arrived two came at once. A minute after tying the scores Ryan Dzingel would give the Ottawa Senators a lead for the first time in the game. It was also to be the last time this weekend, the Sens would hold a lead.
Montreal would turn the game (and the weekend) on its head by scoring two goals within 30 seconds of each other to secure the lead. Danault and Gallagher respectively. Brendan Gallagher’s goal, the third of the night for Montreal, should never have found its way into the Senators net. Anderson would’ve wanted that one back, given how many times he has bailed Ottawa out, it’s not fair to overly criticise.
Erik Karlsson would level things once more with five minutes remaining in the third.
Overtime was an interesting passage of play in which the Ottawa Senators frankly had the better chances. The game still tied headed to penalties.
Montreal romped the shootout with both Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris butchering their chances. Byron and Radulov sealed the deal for Montreal. Oddly enough, Ottawa beat Montreal 4-3 after a shootout in the second game of the regular season on Oct. 15. Montreal seemingly exacting revenge.
Ottawa are now 4-2 when games have gone down to the shootout.
Craig Anderson finished the night with .906 save percentage saving 29 of 32, slightly better than Carey Price’s .903 who saved 28 of 31. Both keepers not at their best. The Ottawa Senators dominated the face-off circle winning 61 percent of them, sadly couldn’t dominate the match.