The Canadiens did everything right but score enough goals to win Monday night inOttawa. Led by goaltender Ben Bishop who stopped 44 of 45 Canadiens shots the Senators edged the Canadiens 2-1 in a shootout. The Senators managed only 24 shots on Carey Price. Both goals were scored in the second period. Dave Dzuirzynski gave the Senators a 1-0 lead and Andrei Markov scored on a power play with 3.8 seconds left in the period to tie it. Peter Regin, who had just come off the Senators injury list and was the Senators biggest threat on the night, scored the winning shootout goal in the 5th round.
The Three Stars were Bishop, Regin and Markov.
Random Thoughts –
Setting the Tone – For the fifth time in the last six games the Canadiens shut down their opponent in the first period. Only five shots from the Senators on their own ice.
Taking Over – Starting at 13:09 of the period the Canadiens completely took control through five consecutive shifts. During a 4:11 span, the Canadiens registered three of their twelve first period shots, forced two Ottawa giveaways, recorded three takeaways and three hits. Only thing missing was a goal.
Gift– With the shots on goal 22-6 rookie Dave Dziurzyski took a harmless looking shot coming off the left wing. Carey Price, who had hardly seen the puck for almost a full period, blew the angle and watched the puck slide under his glove into the net.
What Do You Have To Do? – When the Canadiens faced off with ten seconds left in the second period they had nothing to show for 29 shots plus goalposts hit by Pacioretty, Cole and Diaz.
The Faceoff – Still on the power play with ten seconds left David Desharnais cleaning whipped Jim O’Brien on the draw. It took 6.2 seconds for the puck to travel from Desharnais to Pacioretty to Diaz to Markov for the sixty foot slapper to tie the game. The question to be asked. “Why was O’Brien, who had taken only five faceoffs up that point in the game, taking a draw at that point?”
Closed Rule Book – After a month of awful questionable goaltender interference, including one in that probably cost the Senators a point at the Bell Centre February third, referees Dennis Larue and Dan O’Halloran put their whistles away, totally igoring three blatant offenses. Two of them ould have been called against the Canadiens.
The Best of the Canadiens – The Desharnais/Pacioretty/Gallagher line took 19 shots, 13 of them on target. Desharnais also had an outstanding night in the faceoff circle winning 11 of 16 for 69%. The defence pairing of Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin was the Canadiens best; especially Markov, who appeared to come out of mini-slump.
A Long Hard Night – P.K. Subban is still well behind his teammates and opponents and in a hard fought game like this one, it showed. Guilty of trying to do too much on his own when his timing isn’t good enough. He also had a difficult time on the Canadiens two power plays which is rare.
The Goaltender – Hard to fault a goaltender who gives up just one goal in 65 minutes of play and sees his goals against average drop again…now at 1.90 but Carey Price seemed shaky in the first period. The goal he gave up should never have been scored.
Adding It Up – There are going to be nights like this. A hot goaltender with the goalposts on his side. There was nothing wrong with the Canadiens performance. On any other night, they might have won this one 6-1. On to Toronto.