|Lehner stops Gallagher up close for one of his thirty-three saves|
It was the first meeting between the two clubs this season since their playoff matchup last season. Taking into consideration the amount of times the gloves were dropped in last year's playoffs. It wasn't farfetched to think this game would have more fights than goals scored, this game did produce its fair share of matching minors but nothing major. Tempers did flare during certain moments throughout the game and this division pairing could soon become a marquee matchup in the Atlantic
The Habs have had good success this season while the Sens are off to a rough start. The Sens looking to get back on track could use this game as a stepping stone in the right direction.
The Senators were very luck to come out of the first period tied with the Habs.
The Canadiens came out of the gate at Canadian Tire Center with all the energy. They were putting the pressure on the home team during the first. Had it not been for Robin Lehner, who was tested much more often than Carey Price, the Sens would have been climbing out of a deep hole early.
Gallagher was in the box twice in the first period. Despite these penalties, the Habs showed a lot of promise. It was clear they were the ones in the drivers seat. Even while up a man, the Sens failed to establish any kind of zone possession, meanwhile the Canadiens were able to generate some odd man rushes short-handed.
On the flip side, the Habs wasted no time scoring on their powerplay opportunity when a shot by Markov was deflected off of Zach Smith, this was the only time the Habs scored on the powerplay finishing one for five.
The lead was short lived, moments later Bobby Ryan scored the tieing goal for the Sens with a wrist shot from the high slot.
Ryan has been riding a hot streak lately as he had 6 points in his last 4 games. Definitely a dangerous player on this Sens team, he added two assists and extended his streak.
One concern in the first for the Canadiens would be their inability to win off the draw, something that stood out as well during the outing against the Blues. they were 16-5 favoring Ottawa in the first and ended up 38-23 by the end of the game.
A 37 second span in the second period in which the Sens scored two goals was the turning point in the game.
The first half of the second period was split between the clubs. The Canadiens were controlling the pace of the game for the most part. The Sens did remain the more physical team, they out-hit the Habs by a 38-20 margin.
The first goal came when a rebound given up by Price failed to be cleared by Markov who put the puck right on the stick of Marc Methot who let go of a wrister in the net.
The third goal was a stoppable shot by Mark Borowiecki, a first in his career, but Price did face a screen that may have caused him to misread the shot. It could of been worse had a following shot a few moments later hit the post.
No momentum was generated in the remainder of the second period. Power-plays for the Canadiens were unsuccessful and a goal was taken back due to a goalie-interference call by Gallagher.
Lehner stood on his head and made all the necessary saves to keep the Sens ahead.
In the third period, neither team was significantly more dominant than the other.
Many players in the NHL will state. Through an 82 game season there are games that you will deserve to win and lose and games you should have lost but won. This game will go down for the Canadiens as one which they should have won but lost. It really was the Canadiens who seemed to be better team at the start.
They did try to crawl their way back into the game but couldn't. Not capitalizing on their power-play opportunities is a big factor in the loss since they could have been able to to get the Habs back in the game. Also playing short-handed during the third behind by a pair of goals is no way to set yourself up for success.
Overall the pace for the Canadiens was quite good, the result will say the Senators played a far superior game, however the fans watching the game will be disappointed to see the outcome was determined by a momentary lapse in play.
In other Habs notes, it's rather puzzling to see that comments have been made about the play of Subban recently. As far as any player goes, he contributed as much as anyone could. He logged over 27 minutes and lead all players with 9 shots. He is always a factor in the oppositions game-plan and while the power-play only scored the one goal it was clear they were marking him the entire time.
The Canadiens will have a few days to forget about this loss. They will be playing their next game against the New York Islanders on home ice Sunday evening.