Get ready for the highway 417 series. Over the next two weeks the Canadiens and Senators are going to be logging bus time in the short 200 kilometre journey between Montreal and Ottawa. The series will open with games Thursday and Friday at the Bell Centre followed by games three and four at Scotiabank Place Sunday and Tuesday of next week.
The highly touted (at least in Toronto) meeting between the Canadiens and Leafs will not materialize, at least not in the playoffs opening round.
The Senators beat the slumping Bruins 4-2 in the makeup game caused by the Boston Marathon bombing. It was an important win for the Senaators, who avoided playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. The Bruins, who lost seven of their final nine games (2-5-2),will be facing Toronto in what will be touted as a “black & blue” original six series.
The Bruins loss left the Canadiens with the Northeast division crown and second place overall in the Eastern Conference.
The Canadiens have never played the Senators in that team’s modern era. However the original Senators were one of the NHA/NHL founding franchises in 1917. The Canadiens took the only NHA series in 1917 but lost the Stanley Cup to the Seattle Metropolitans. They beat the Ottawa 5-2 in the two game total goal series in 1924 for their first Stanley Cup as part of the NHL. Ottawa beat the Canadiens en route to their 1923 and 1927 Stanley Cup victories. In that last meeting 86 years ago, Ottawa beat Montreal 5-1 in a two-game total goal semi-final. The Senators then beat the Bruins in the final for the Cup. Ottawa teams have won the Stanley Cup eleven times.
There will be plenty of words put down between now and Thursday about the Senators/Canadiens matchup. First thing is to look at is the four game season series which was an even split; each team winning once outright and each team winning a shootout game.
Game 1. Scotiabank Place Jan.30 Ottawa-5 Canadiens-1 Peter Bujaj gives up five on 27 shots. Ryan White given a double minor for unsportsmanlike conduct. Alfredsson and Zibanejad scored while he was in the penalty box to break open a 1-1 tie. Plekanec scored for the Canadiens.
Game 2….Bell Centre Feb. 3- Canadiens-2 Ottawa-1. Erik Cole gave the Canadiens their 2-1 lead midway through the first period and Carey Price did the rest stopping 32 of 33 shots. Desharnais scored other goal for the Canadiens. Silfverberg for Ottawa. Silfverberg was also handed a questionable goaltender interference penalty early in the third period nullifying a goal scored by Andre Benoit which would have tied the game. Max Pacioretty returns to the lineup eight days after an appendectomy.
Game 3….Scotiabank Place –Feb. 25 Ottawa-2 Canadiens-1 (shootout) – Peter Regin scored the shootout winner in the fifth round. Markov scored for the Canadiens. Dziurzynski for Ottawa. Ben Bishop made 44 saves. Price stopped 23 of 24.
Game 4….Bell Centre – Mar. 13 – Canadiens-4 Ottawa-3 (shootout) Lars Eller scores winning goal in shootout. In regulation time it was Eller, Gallagher and Subban. For Ottawa Zibanejad, Alfredsson and Wiercioch. Canadiens had a 3-1 lead in the second period. Eller played on a line with Galchenyuk and Dumont. Canadiens outshot Ottawa 45-32. Robin Lehner against Carey Price.
Thursday, May 2 – 7 p.m.Ottawa at Montreal CBC, RDS, CNBC
Friday, May 3 – 7 p.m.Ottawa at Montreal CBC, RDS, CNBC
Sunday, May 5 – 7 p.m.Montreal at Ottawa CBC, RDS, NBC Sports Network
Tuesday, May 7 -7 p.m.Montreal at Ottawa CBC, RDS, CNBC
*Thursday, May 9 – 7 p.m. Ottawa at Montreal CBC, RDS
*Saturday, May 11 – TBD Montreal at Ottawa CBC, RDS