The Canadiens stormed back from a 4-1 deficit in the final 3:22 to tie the Ottawa Senators and Francis Bouillon scored at 1:26 of overtime to give the Canadiens an unlikely 5-4 win Saturday night at the Bell Centre. Lars Eller started the comeback at 3:22 remaining. Brian Gionta made it 4-3 and David Desharnais scored on a power play with less than a second remaining to tie it paving the way for Bouillon’s game winner. The Canadiens took a 1-0 lead on Daniel Briere’s first period goal but Jason Spezza quickly tied it. Zack Smith scored the second period’s only goal with Ales Hemsky and Clarke MacArthur opening up the 4-1 lead in the first six minutes of the third. The Canadiens outshot the Senators 48-34. The RDS three stars were Bouillon, Gionta and P.K. Subban.
Adding It Up –
Enough Is Enough – About 2-thousand fans left the Bell Centre when Clarke MacArthur scored the Senators 4th goal at 5:08 of the third period. Nobody seemed more disgusted than the Canadiens. After a terrible effort through the second period and the early stages of the third, suddenly they woke up. In the final 14:52 of the third period and the overtime they poured 21 shots on Robin Lehner.
The Shakeup – With the Canadiens apparently going nowhere, Michel Therrien broke up his second and third lines. He took Brian Gionta away from Plekanec and put him with Lars Eller and Galchenyuk. Eller and Galchenyuk had been on the ice for all four Ottawa goals. Eller put home Gionta’s rebound with 3:22 left to make it 4-2. One shift later Eller started the play that led to Gionta tipping home P.K. Subban’s shot to make it 4-3. In the end Eller was on the ice for six consecutive goals.
The Comeback – Do you believe in fate? With the score 4-3 Kyle Turris took an offensive zone penalty with 1:48 remaining when he hooked down Andrei Markov on a faceoff. Therrien immediately removed Carey Price for the 6-on-4 power play. With 1:10 remaining Clarke MacArthur just missed the empty Canadiens net from 118 feet away. The Canadiens came right back. In the final minute they had four shots on Lehner.
Surreal – P.K. Subban said he looked up at the clock as he got the pass from Markov and it said four seconds. David Desharnais waving at him to shoot the puck. “:I felt the puck would be blocked so I passed it to him.” Desharnais scored with 3/10th’s of a second on the clock.
The Winner – The Senators had reason to complain about the game winner. Max Pacioretty’s shot seemed to have been covered up by Lehner. The referee didn’t agree and when the puck squirted loose, Bouillon coming in from the blueline was there to put it into the empty side. Bobby Ryan was so upset, he picked up a game misconduct.
In the Beginning – In a game that reminded all of us of Wednesday night’s game against Boston, the Canadiens started strongly and went steadily backwards. They completely dominated the first period. At one point in the first period the shots on goal were 12-1, but the score was tied at 1-1. Daniel Briere scored early and easily could have had a first period hattrick. In the second period, the Senators took over the game. And five minutes into the third period had their 4-1 lead.
For the Record Books – .According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in 97 years of NHL history that a team has trailed by three goals in the final five minutes and come back to win a game.
Quote of the Night – Michel Therrien “What I’m hoping for; it could change a season, a game like that.”
Also Worth Mentioning – …..They scored four goals on Carey Price in his first game in three weeks. Not much he could do on any of them. And he was pretty much left alone as the Canadiens turned up the offense in the final fifteen minutes. …..It’s inevitable Thomas Vanek will get it going eventually. Playing right wing on the Desharnais line he took ten shots, five of them on goal. The line accounted for 12 shots on goal….P.K. Subban was simply great! Seven of his twelve shots found the net. Three assists and 289:55 ice time. ….David Desharnais won 19 of 26 faceoffs.
Moving On – The Canadiens caught a charter for Buffalo right after the game. Carey Price was not on board. He’ll stay in Montreal and rest while Peter Budaj tends goal against the Sabres Sunday night. The Canadiens continue to hold down the first of two wild card playoff berths.