The Ottawa Senators broke open a 1-1 game with three goals in the span of 3:35 in the second period, two of them while Canadiens forward Ryan White was sitting in the penalty box and the Senators skated to a 5-1 win Wednesday night in Ottawa. Prior to this game the Canadiens had taken at least a point in nine consecutive games against the Senators.
Jim O’Brien, Daniel Alfredsson, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Phillips and and Chris Neil divided the Ottawa goal scoring. Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens. Thanks to a third period when they outshot the Senators 13-5, the Canadiens led in that department 32-27. The three stars were goaltender Craig Anderson, rookie forward Mika Zibanejad and defenceman Chris Phillips.
The Bright Light – Tomas Plekanec, who always seems to play well against the Senators, opened the scoring on a power play in the game’s 6th minute. Of course, Markov and Diaz drew the assists. By the time the night was over Plekanec had a total of six shots on goal. In nine career games at Scotiabank Place, Plekanec has 13 points.
Sock It To ‘Em - The Senators reaction to being down 1-0 was to physically engage the Canadiens. Chris Neil picked up an instigator penalty when he fought Brendon Prust. 38 minutes in penalties in the first period alone most of it to Ottawa, but the Canadiens couldn’t add to their power play statistics. It was Ottawa fourth liner Jim O’Brien who tied the game at 7:53.
Losing It - In the end you can pin a large portion of the blame on Ryan White. White has handed a minor penalty for roughing up Patrick Wiercioch. He compounded it by leveling a profane verbal attack on the referee which drew him an unsportsmanlike penalty.
The Carey Price Effect – Peter Budaj got the start and certainly could not be blamed for the final result. When Price is in the game, it seems his teammates play with a confidence that they don’t who when the backup is in. It is safe to say that the players in front of Budaj didn’t give him much support. Three seconds into the roughing penalty Daniel Alfredsson scored. 1:58 into the second penalty Mika Zibanejad made it 3-1.
All Shook Up - Second guessers might say, it was a good time for Michel Therrien to call a time out. He didn’t. And still shaken by the sudden turn of events the Canadiens gave up an even strength goal 1:37 later. That’s three goals in a span of 3:35. 4-1 Ottawa.
Late Arrival – The Canadiens turned it on in the third period. They out shot the unflappable Senators 13-3. Lots of traffic in front of goaltender Craig Anderson but, outside of two brilliant saves on Brandon Prust, there was little of consequence.
Closing It Out - To put the stamp on the game and how easy it became for the Senators to win, after sitting back for most of the third period, they went on the attack, pinning the Canadiens back in their own end through three shifts until Chris Neil scored with six minutes left. 5-1 final.
Things to Note -
….David Desharnais recorded his first shot on goal in four games, but was largely ineffective.
….The rookies failed to hit the scoresheet but had their moments. They had two shots on goal each.
….For the second game in a row Eric Cole was a force but, like the Winnipeg game Tuesday, he had to accomplish what he did by himself. He had little help from linemates Desharnais and Eller.
….Andrei Markov picked up another assist but I was most impressed with his sacrifice. In one sequence he was hit in the back of the leg while blocking a shot and seconds later sprawled to take a shot in his midsection.
….Somebody is going to need to talk with Ryan White about his temper.
….As for the result – just one in a 48 game schedule. The Canadiens will get a shot at the Senators on their own ice on Sunday.