In hindsight, I should have saved that opening for tonight, a game in which the Senators were completely dominated for long stretches, were outshot 45-24, and yet came out victorious thanks to a stunning effort by Ben Bishop. As Ian Mendes pointed out on Twitter, it was just the second time in franchise history that the Senators have swept a four-game homestand.
The Senators were lucky to leave the first period in a 0-0 tie after being outshot 12-5 and getting outplayed in virtually every department. You'd think after being embarrassed on home ice for 20 minutes, the Senators would improve their play for the second period and perhaps at least keep up with the Canadiens in the second frame. Unfortunately, the Senators played just as poorly in the second period, allowing 18 shots on goal in that frame alone and going through long stretches of play where it looked like the Habs were on the powerplay when the game was at even strength.
That's probably why it was so funny to see the Senators on the board first, as David Dziurzynski (of all people) fired a slapshot from near the blue line that somehow fooled Carey Price. The Senators looked poised to leave the second period with a 1-0 lead somehow, but a dumb penalty from Chris Neil gave the Habs a powerplay, and Andrei Markov got the equalizer with just 4 seconds left in the frame.
The Senators managed to finally keep pace with the Canadiens in the third period, only getting outshot 10-8 in the frame and generally swapping chances. Things got a bit weird at the end of the period and into overtime, though, as:
- Marc Methot took an interference penalty with 2 minutes left in the game to give the Habs a powerplay
- PK Subban was called for tripping late in the period (without actually tripping anyone), which gave the Sens a 4-on-3 powerplay until
- Kyle Turris was called for hooking, evening it up and eventually giving the Habs about a minute with the man advantage.
Luckily, the Senators held on in overtime thanks to the heroics of Ben Bishop, and although they came close to winning it in OT -- Peter Regin rang one off the post with just seconds left -- this one needed a shootout.
In the shootout, Jakob Silfverberg continued his tradition by scoring with a glove-side shot, while Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson missed their attempts. David Desharnais got a goal for the Habs, meaning extra shooters were necessary. Fourth man in for the Sens was Kaspars Daugavin, who missed, but along came Peter Regin with a beautiful move to turn Carey Price inside out and give the Senators the win.
Sens Hero: Ben Bishop
A lot of headlines tomorrow will probably read "BIG BEN" or "BISHOP STANDS TALL", and with good reason: these things pretty much write themselves, and Ben Bishop was terrific. Bishop made 44 saves on 45 shots, allowing just a single goal that came from the man advantage. He kept the Senators tied in a game where they should have been down by 3 or 4, and they walked away with 2 points thanks to his effort.
Sens Hero: Peter Regin
Regin was a surprise addition to the Senators lineup tonight, and his presence was noticeable on nearly every shift. He had a couple of great rushes (including the aforementioned post with just seconds left), and he made a number of great defensive plays to keep the Senators in it. He capped off the night by scoring the shootout winner, and it was a dandy, pulling Price to his left and twisting him inside out and slipping the puck past.
Sens Hero: Marc Methot
Methot was second on the team in TOI behind just Sergei Gonchar, and probably would have been first if it wasn't for that late penalty he took. Methot did an excellent job shutting down Montreal's top lines and was one of the few Senators who seemed to be able to get the breakout going tonight. Although he didn't put up any points, he finished with a team-high 4 shots on goal.
Sens Zero: Kyle Turris
Turris had a tough game, struggling to generate chances and turning the puck over to the Habs with a greater frequency than he would have liked. He also took a hooking penalty in overtime while the Senators were on the powerplay, neutralizing that opportunity and giving the Habs a 4-on-3.
Shot Chart (via ESPN):