I have some good news and bad news. The bad news is that the Senators were badly outplayed by the Canadiens, and if this is a playoff preview, the Sens will be in tough. The good news is that Mark Stone is injured, and his return would push nearly everyone down in the lineup, giving Ottawa a much better team. The only problem is that this shows just how dependent Ottawa is on having all of their best players healthy. What happens if Kyle Turris or Mike Hoffman or, dare I say it, Erik Karlsson aren’t good to go in the playoffs? It’s an ugly future I hope we don’t face.
The first period of the game was actually pretty even. It also saw the first three goals of the game come. Tomas Plekanec opened the scoring just 28 seconds in, off a rebound in close. It didn’t look promising. Thankfully, Tom Pyatt tied it up four minutes later. His shot hit Jordie Benn in tight and deflected over Carey Price’s shoulder. Benn would make it up though with a hard slapshot from the point to restore the Canadiens’ lead. That would do it for the first.
I remember very little of the second period, other than that it didn’t look good for Ottawa at all. The final shot count was 15-6 for the Habs. You would’ve been forgiven for forgetting these teams played each other last night, since only one had any energy.
The third period had three distinct phases: disappointment, dispute, and dejection. Sens fans were initially pretty happy, when the Habs appeared to have scored (at least to Bob Cole) but video review confirmed that the puck wedged under Craig Anderson’s pad and didn’t seem to cross the line. That quickly gave way though when Paul Byron snapped home his 20th (!!) of the year on a 2-on-1 on which Erik Karlsson played the pass, but Anderson tried to as well. 3-1 wasn’t insurmountable, but it seemed harder than 2-1. That initial disappointment gave way to disputes, with a number of fisticuffs breaking out between these teams. Zack Smith tousled with Alexander Radulov and Mark Borowiecki went after Jordie Benn. Shortly after, Chris Kelly and Torrey Mitchell went around in circles with the gloves off. Bobby Ryan also tried to join in, by going after Alexei Emelin, but the refs gave Ryan the only penalty.
That penalty led to dejection. On the powerplay, Nathan Beaulieu got one to go home from the point, all but sealing Ottawa’s fate. Just a few seconds after the faceoff, the Habs raced in again and Byron snapped another one home, but a coach’s challenge proved successful and offside was found to have occurred on the play. Though the goal didn’t count, it might as well have, because Ottawa seemed to do nothing for the rest of the game. They decided to lick their wounds and go home, now nursing a four-game losing streak on the heels of their six-game win streak.
Dishonourable Mention: Marc Methot and Mark Borowiecki
Ottawa’s defence corps as a whole didn’t do well on the night, but these two stood out to me in particular as being caught out of position and having lapses on the back.
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