Ottawa - January 15, 2012 - Daniel Alfredsson scored the only goal of the shootout, in the third round to give the Ottawa Senators a 3-2 shootout victory over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Craig Anderson stopped all three Montreal shootout attempts to put Alfredsson into the spotlight again to win the game. Alfredsson like he has so many times this season, delivered.
The win is Ottawa’s fourth straight regulation win and ninth straight game with at least a point. The last regulation loss for the Senators was a 5-2 loss to the Canadiens at home on December 27th. The Senators have gone 8-0-1 in that nine game stretch with the only loss being in Philadelphia last Saturday in overtime. The Senators almost won the game in regulation time but gave up a goal to Max Pacioretty, his 13th goal of the year, with just 39 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at two.
The Senators got off to their traditional slow start, which seems to be the norm these days. Despite being outshot 9-7 and outplayed in the first period the game stayed tied at zero. The Senators were actually quite fortunate to be tied. Montreal had a goal called back when Andrei Kostitsyn was given a penalty for interfering with Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. The replay showed that Milan Michalek actually pushed Kostitsyn into Anderson, blocking the goaltender from getting to the other side of the net and stopping a P.K. Subban shot, which would’ve given the Canadiens a 1-0 lead. The goal should’ve counted.
The Senators looked just as sluggish in the second period as Montreal took the game to them. The Senators worked hard, but they looked slow and sluggish as the Canadiens were winning most of the battles for the puck. On more than one occasion Craig Anderson saved the day and it looked like this could be another game which was saved by Anderson.
The Senators managed just 13 shots through the first two periods and they didn’t end up showing any life until late in the second period when they started putting the body to the Canadiens. The Senators are a bigger team than Montreal and when they throw the body around they slow down the smaller Canadiens. I almost had the feeling that the Senators didn’t take the Canadiens seriously enough. Without Cammalleri and on a bad losing streak it was as if Ottawa thought this would be an easy game. However, there are no really easy games in the NHL where you have to earn your wins.
Senators step it up
With the game tied 0-0 entering the third period the Senators stepped up their game and took it to the Canadiens. It didn’t look good in the first minute though, when Erik Karlsson turned over the puck at the blue line after receiving a bad pass by Jason Spezza. Thomas Plekanec ended up going in on a breakaway and with Karlsson on him, managed to slip the puck past Craig Anderson for his ninth goal of the season to give Montreal a 1-0 lead just 42 seconds into the third period.
After that it was all Ottawa. Kyle Turris scored his second goal of the season five minutes later to tie the game at one. Jason Spezza then scored his 19th goal of the season on the power play with just over six minutes left to give the Senators a 2-1 lead. It was the only good power play of the night for Ottawa who ended up going one for six with the man advantage along with giving up a shorthanded goal. The Senators were on the power play when Plekanec high sticked Zack Smith in the mouth to receive a 4 minute penalty. That goal held up until Pacioretty tied the game late.
Overtime solved nothing so the game went to a shootout. Craig Anderson stopped all three Montreal shots, leaving the door open for Daniel Alfredsson’s late game heroics. Alfredsson was 3 for 3 on the shootout coming into the game. In the third round he calmly came down the ice and drilled a shot between the legs of Montreal goaltender Cary Price to give the Senators the victory and another two points on the road.
- I thought the refereeing was very bad tonight, with both teams being victimized. Lucky for both teams though, because the power play units were bad going 1 for 13 on the night with Canadiens even scoring a short-handed goal.
- If you were listening to the game, it sounded like there was a constant booing in the game in Montreal. It was almost like a faint noise and I turned up the volume to see if it was from the TV. It sounded to me like a segment of Montreal fans decided to go to the game to boo.
- Nice to see the Senators play bad and still win. Things are great right now in Ottawa and it seems like the Senators can turn it up whenever they need to this year to win games.
- Up next a home date on Monday against the Winnipeg Jets, then on the road the next night for their 3rd game in 4 nights when they travel to Toronto.