The Ottawa Senators beat the Canadiens 6-1 to wrap up a 4-1 Eastern Conference quarterfinal win Thursday night at the Bell Centre. The game was close until the Senators’ Kyle Turris scored a shorthanded goal midway in the second period to take a 3-1 lead. Cory Conacher scored twice for Ottawa, Zack Smith, Daniel Alfredsson and Eric Condra scored the others. P.K. Subban scored the Canadiens only goal. The shots on goal were 34-29 in favour of the Canadiens. The three stars were goaltender Craig Anderson, Conacher and Turris.
Adding It Up
On a Mission – The Canadiens were withoutCarey Price, Brandon Prust, Ryan White and Lars Eller but they poured it on in the opening period. Fourteen minutes into the period the Canadiens were outshooting the Senators 13-6, a figure that excludes goalsposts from first Rene Bourque and then Michael Ryder five seconds apart.
The Backup - There couldn’t have been worse time for Peter Budaj to make his first career playoff start. While the Canadiens were dominating, the Senators scored two firfst period goals on only two scoring chances. The nightmare started in the third minute of the game, when Budaj left a fat rebound for Zack Smith to scoop up to make it 1-0. At 12:26 a scramble in front found the puck sitting alone in the crease for Cory Conacher to scoop. 2-0.
Faint Hope – With it 2-0 late in the period, Daniel Alfredsson drew an interference penalty and on the Canadiens 16th shot of the period, P.K. Subban blasted it past Craig Anderson to narrow it to 2-1.
Game Swing – While killing off a penalty for too many men on the ice, Tomas Plekanec sent Colby Armstrong in on a clear breakaway. Armstrong went high on Craig Anderson and rang the puck off the cross-bar.
Turn About -Twenty seconds later the Senators drew a ‘too many men’ penalty. Ottawa scored shorthanded when Eric Condra and Kyle Turris broke free on a two on one. Plekanec checked Turris into the goalmouth and while on his back in the blue paint, Condra’s shot caromed off him into the net. After review, much to the disgust of the Bell Centre crowd, it was ruled a good goal. 3-1 Ottawa.
Accepting the Inevitable – The third Ottawa goal came on their 14th shot. Scoring chances were lopsidedly 12-4 in favour of the Habs. That goal sapped the remaining Canadiens adrenalin. For the rest of the night, there was no push-back on the Senators. Team discipline disappeared and the Senators scored three more power play goals for their 6-1 victory.
It Wasn’t To Be – Everything went wrong for the Canadiens started with the first game injury to Lars Eller and a loss in which they pumped fifty shots at Anderson. The self-destructive game two fiasco. A flirtation with the form that earned the Canadiens first place in the Northeast division in game three, followed by the third period game four collapse abetted by some sloppy work by game officials. The result of Game Five, in hindsight, was inevitable.
The Obituary – The Canadiens, a team that went from last to first in the Northeast division and last to second in the Eastern Conference, goes down in five games in the first round of the playoffs. The statistic that stands out: the Canadiens were outscored 13-0 in the series in the third period and overtime. That clearly indicates they are a team that was too small for teams with the size and brute strength of the Senators and their like. Team general manager Marc Bergevin will assuredly be addressing that issue this summer. The rest of the post mortems will have to wait until the mandatory cooling-off period.