This is going to be a looooooooong road trip.
The Ottawa Senators faced off against their rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, for the second time this season. After an embarrassing 8-3 loss against the Habs a month ago, the score could’ve been similar tonight had it not been for Mike Condon.
It was another frustrating night — Pageau didn’t score, Erik Karlsson didn’t get a point, Carey Price looked solid — all resulting in a 2-1 loss extending the Sens’ losing streak to seven games.
The first period was mostly positives for Ottawa. Mark Stone put the Sens on the board first with a shorthanded breakaway, with a vintage Mark Stone takeaway from Jeff Petry and a nice backhand move against Carey Price. The goal was beautiful, and the celebration was the icing on the cake. How can anyone not love Mark Stone?
Speaking of which, Stone is already back near the top of the takeaway leaderboard. His 24 takeaways is tied for second in the league, behind Taylor Hall. Maybe time to bring back the #SelkeStone conversation?
Early into the second period, at the end of a Sens power play, Jonathan Drouin sped down the ice on a breakaway. Cody Ceci in desperation wrapped his stick around Drouin, and ending up going a bit too far causing a penalty shot. Drouin beat Condon low, bringing the game to a tie.
It was after that sequence that Ottawa lost nearly all momentum. Cody Ceci and Dion Phaneuf were trapped in the defensive zone, making several costly plays by either losing coverage or failing to clear the puck (although Tom Pyatt wasn’t of much help either). Phillip Danault capitalized, left uncovered in front of the net, scoring what would eventually be the game-winning goal.
Although the Sens gained back a bit of their pace near the end of the second, the third period was all but a dud. Very few quality chances were created, and their feet didn’t seem to be moving as fast, in particular for Bobby Ryan and Johnny Oduya. We didn’t get the completely-take-over-a-game Karlsson that we’ve been missing for the last month, nor did we get any help from the depth players.
Since the beginning of the losing streak, Ottawa’s only managed to score 1.3 goals per game. Something will have to change if we plan on making the playoffs, as the Sens find themselves in the league’s bottom five.
- That change will have to start from the bench, with Guy Boucher’s weaknesses evident in this game. The power play has been lacklustre for the umpteenth time, and his urge to keep playing Phaneuf and Ceci has cost this team too much.
- Speaking of which, Cody Ceci in particular had a weak game, costing the team on both goals (although there’s an argument to be made that Drouin didn’t deserve a penalty shot).
- Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman were present, combining for seven shots on goal.
- Zack Smith also had five shots on goal tonight, still looking for his first goal of the season. It will come eventually.
- Facing his former club for the first time, Mike Condon was the biggest reason why the Habs only managed to score two, stopping 29 of 31 shots./
The road trip makes a stop in Brooklyn to face the Islanders this Friday, before heading to the West Coast.