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GOTS - Breaking the Hab-it



GOTS – GGroove on the Sens


Greg Gallagher

Sens Central Moderator

Twitter: @ggottawa

GAME REPORT – Eastern Conference quarterfinal

Senators 3, Canadiens 2 (OT)

(Senators lead series 3-1)

Senators scorers: Zibanejad, Conacher, Turris

Canadiens scorers: Subban, Galchenyuk

Power play: Senators 0-3, Canadiens 0-1

Three stars: Turris, Neil, Alfredsson (OTT)

Attendance: 20,500 (19,153 capacity)


Playoff hockey is a funny thing. Kyle Turris fires a seeing-eye laser, glancing off of Raphael Diaz’s elbow into the tiniest of corners. Funny because he also scored in OT of Game 4 last year against the Rangers, from the same side – albeit in much different fashion … It’s a funny thing, because the bounce that led to Conacher’s tying marker came off the back skate of Brandon Prust, who was down on the ice. For stretches of the third period, the Senators chipped away, and managed to finally capitalize on some opportunities. It can't be overstated how Turris was also heads-up on the entry into the zone and around the net on the tying goal … The Sens seemed to find their way physically in the final stanza of regulation, and finished the game with 61 hits to the Habs’ 46. Chris Neil had a game-high 10 of them. Marc Methot, who was his usual consistent self, contributed another six hits and blocked a game-high four shots …

But it wasn’t much of a game for the home team through two periods. P.K. Subban wasted no time firing that top-shelf offering in the second, followed by Alex Galchenyuk ripping one past Craig Anderson`s left shoulder. On that goal, the Sens were a bit tired after chasing the Habs around on a long shift, and the inability for the long-armed Jared Cowen to catch Galchenyuk really showed it. Bang, bang, two quick ones on the road. There was not too much pushback until sustained pressure later in the period from a Kassian-Smith-Neil physical cycle. Especially in the second, the Montreal gap control was excellent, and they were playing a perfect road game … It’s a funny game, because it took a funny bounce to get the Sens back into the game – one high off the glass that probably had many players thinking it was out of play. Nope, as Mika Zibanejad channelled his inner

, thinking on his feet ...

It was unfortunate for the Habs to have to throw in a cold Peter Budaj, due to Carey Price’s injury – although Budaj did have a chance to warm up and stretch a bit more during the full 18-minute intermission, it’s not the same …

The much-maligned Subban still had a bad moment not long after his goal, when he flubbed a pass and gave the puck away. Moments later, Kyle Turris was on the wrong end of some obstruction. Nine times out of 10 that might not be called, but P.K. pushed Turris down on the knee. Good call by the zebras … He’s lucky that both Jakob Silfverberg and Conacher couldn’t convert glorious chances at the end of the PP, which stretched into the third. Zack Smith cut hard to the net minutes later, when the Sens were sniffing seriously for the first time in a long time …

The Sens’ best chance of the second period came when persona non-grata Eric Gryba stepped into the slot with a slapper. It was a bouncing puck, however, and was a little too high as it hit Price’s mask. Neil followed it up by flying up the right wing for a good shot, but ran out of time and space when dealing with the rebound …

The tough Josh Gorges tried to get the tough going early on in the first. Not only did he tie up Chris Phillips as the Big Rig pinched on a two-on-one — falling backwards into the net to thwart a sure one-timer — he also took a Sergei Gonchar slap shot in the torso during a dump-in attempt. Just two of the many episodes that the veteran D-man has brought it, on and off the puck. He’s a guy you want on your team, on and off the ice …

A very interesting series of events happened around the 12-minute mark: firstly, Cory Conacher’s flubbed ring-around-the-cage cycle pass instead dropped its way to Kyle Turris, who was in position for a decent chance. The biscuit found its way onto the blade of Erik Karlsson, whose toe-drag attempt got read by the Habs’ D. Seconds later, Craig Anderson found himself charging toward the blue line to thwart a breakaway attempt. Finally, Carey Price hung onto Mika Zibanejad’s left-wing wrister, and everyone caught their breath. Playoff hockey …

It was three consecutive plays of semi-frustration prior to Brandon Prust’s roughing penalty late in the first. The first two featured good puck-possession time by the Sens in the Habs’ zone, and both times the Habs cleared. However, Conacher and Chris Phillips, respectively, were able to lay down solid bodychecks to prevent one less Montreal skater from getting out. The third time in, Zack Smith eluded a hook, and Price faced a few good shots. The result? Frustration by Prust in trying too hard to make something happen physically. Speaking of which, the first big hit by Neil on Brandon Prust early on in the first drew a loud cheer …

The first “Pageau, Pageau” chant: less than two minutes into the first period, and it got going during the pregame warmup as well. Seemed to spur on the youngster, who skated hard in the first period, showing speed on one charge up the left wing …

Shades of 2007 crept up when Neil and Travis Moen took a few whacks at each other prior to a faceoff late in the second period. Moen, along with linemates Samuel Pahlsson and Rob Niedermayer, caused the Sens fits during the Cup final … Moen and Prust showed why they’re big-time playoff performers, muscling their way around behind the Sens’ net with two minutes left in the third, after beating an icing call …

Nice touch by CBC to touch on the story of young Sens fan Kyla Penner, who was sent home from school earlier Tuesday in Montreal for wearing Sens colours to hockey-jersey day. Owner Eugene Melnyk promptly sent a limo down the 417 to whisk her and her family to the game …

FUNNY STUFF: Michel Therrien’s pink pocket square looked a little stiff – more like the envelope for a Mother’s Day card … Paul MacLean lookalike Mike Watson made another appearance at Scotiabank Place – but this time, behind the Habs’ bench. Probably a strategic decision to have some walrus-like intimidation behind the opposing coach? … Maybe it's just me, but I thought that Marc Methot looked almost saint-like with an unintentional CBC halo behind him … Great CBC camera work, tailing Pageau during a shift late in the second, when he was passed the 6-5 Jared Cowen’s stick as a quick replacement for his own. Not only was the lumber way too big, Cowen shoots left and the 5-9 Pageau is a righty … Silfverberg looked like a figure skater as he stretched with all his might and twirled a circle trying to stay on side during a third-period attempt to gain the blue line … No Don Cherry Suit Rating tonight, but P.J. Stock did have a nice white collar-blue shirt combo ...

LINE OF THE NIGHT: “Guys, I got some good news – Desharnais has a shot,” said P.J. Stock during the first intermission, referring to the fact that the diminutive Habs winger had finally registered his first (and only) shot of the series. He also took his first penalty of the series in the same period … Paul MacLean, who has had his share of one-liners this playoff: “We like when he (Karlsson) plays for us,” said MacLean in the postgame presser on his young defenceman’s occasional nervous moments. “At times tonight he played for both teams.”

STAT LINE OF THE NIGHT: Extra-time hero Kyle Turris, with six hits, two shots, a helper to go along with the game winner, and 15 faceoffs won. Zack Smith led all skaters, winning 17 draws. Faceoffs were an issue for the Sens through two periods, and they picked it up in the third, finishing with a 39-31 edge overall … The Sens had two of the eight total penalty minutes in the game … P.K. Subban scored on his only shot, and had a game-high seven more blocked ... Last but not least - the Sens now have a 10-0 edge on third-period and OT goals in the series.

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