Game Two @ Bell Centre
The second meeting in 24 hours was held in Montreal. Knowing a win would place them atop the Atlantic Division. The Ottawa Senators still reeling from the shootout loss looked to get things back on track in Quebec, they couldn’t. Instead they were blown away from the off.
Taking just 28 seconds of the game for Montreal to maintain their leading ways, Thomas Plekanec firing in a juicy rebound as Markov fired one in from the point. The Ottawa Senators were simply outclassed in every area on this goal, the Habs flicking the puck to one another with such ease. Firstly going behind the net, bringing the puck back to the point. Plekanec made a fool of Marc Methot as he turned him inside out, getting goal-side and tucking away the rebound.
Tom Pyatt would level the scores with a tasty deflection of Jordie Benn’s stick that looped over Carey Price. In all honesty, this was the only way Price was going to be beaten last night.
Jordie Benn would then make up for his unfortunate mistake. Chris Kelly with a dreadful turnover behind his own net. Pacioretty bullying him off the puck. Benn firing a slapshot from the blue-line that managed to miss everyone.
A special note for Carey Price who prevented a tie game as managed somehow to get his right leg across the crease to prevent Kyle Turris scoring on an empty goal.
Third goals seemingly an issue for Craig Anderson this weekend as he let another soft goal in. Byron snapping a quick shot from the right face-off circle through Anderson’s legs. Nathan Beaulieu finishing the tie to make it 4-1.
The Ottawa Senators were brutal at clearing the screens in front of Anderson. Allowing so much space for the Montreal attackers to work with and exploit. A team that prides itself on defensive capabilities dropped the ball Sunday.
Craig Anderson only managing to stop 33 of the 37 shots he faced, a .891 save percentage. Carey Price having one of the best games of his season, and in all honesty deserving of a shutout. Saving all bar one deflection 30 out of 31 and a .967 save percentage.
Starting with the Saturday game. This was the chance for the Ottawa Senators to secure two points, they got one and gave Montreal two. Montreal are not a vastly better team than the Ottawa Senators and potentially too much respect was given. At times, looking steady and in control of the game, once again relying too heavily on sneaking a one goal win.
Sunday was a turkey shoot for the Montreal Canadiens. Dominating in almost every aspect of the game. From the goaltender out, simply the better side. From Saturday to Sunday, Montreal’s raising of the game was something that shocked Ottawa and simply couldn’t match it. Given the shear space in front of Anderson, it could’ve been a lot more than four last night.
Boston will now be licking their lips at the prospect of tomorrow’s game at TD Garden. The Ottawa Senators now winless in four albeit against superior teams in the NHL. Guy Boucher will need to rally the troops and make sure they leave with at least a point.