The Ottawa Senators are mandated with a mission this Thursday, after suffering a 5-2 defeat against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. They must bounce back in the second game of the home-and-home series, as they welcome their Atlantic Division rivals to the Canadian Tire Centre.
Montreal’s most recent win snapped Ottawa’s three game win streak, and pushed the Sens one game below .500 on the season, to 12-13-3. Ottawa currently sits eighth in the Atlantic Division with 27 points. Despite this low ranking, they are only four points away from a Wild Card position in the 2018-19 playoff race.
While Ottawa dropped, Montreal boosted themselves into a Wild Card spot, and improved their record to 13-10-5 and 31 points.
Tuesday’s game was a testy match between both teams. Fans may fully expect this theme to carry over into Thursday’s match between the two rivals.
The testiness was fueled by some big hits and an uncharacteristic fight between Ryan Dzingel and Brett Kulak. In total, nearly 30 penalty minutes were handed out by the referees over 60 minutes of play.
Historically, these teams have been known to put up some big penalty minutes when they face off against each other. Few forget the line brawls on May 5, 2013, during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals, which accumulated a whomping 132 penalty minutes.
Max Domi and Jonathan Drouin shared strong performances on Tuesday. Domi earned the game’s first star with two goals, including the game-winner, one assist, four shots, and four penalty minutes. Meanwhile, Drouin’s effort was recognized with the game’s second star after he also collected three points, including two goals and one assist. Both players will aim to build on their impressive performance on the road this Thursday.
Montreal tilted the match in their favour when they blasted three goals past Craig Anderson and the Sens in only 3:39 near the end of the second period. This blitz proved too much for the Senators to recover from, and ultimately determined the game’s fate.
The Price is Right
Carey Price was rock solid against Ottawa on Tuesday. The Montreal All Star stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced. On the night, the Price was right with a 2.01 goals against average and a .933 save per cent. Despite his strong performance this game, the 31-year-old has not been himself this season, as he currently owns nine wins, along with a 3.01 GAA and .899 SV%.
- Drake Batherson finished the game with five block shots, including three against Shea Weber’s cannon.
- Tuesday night’s loss was the eleventh for the Senators this season where they have allowed five or more goals against. It was a step back from their improved defensive play, which was exhibited in their previous two games against the Sharks and the New York Rangers.
- In their season series against Montreal, Ottawa is 1-1-0. They won their first game against the Habs, in a 4-3 overtime thriller on home ice at Canadian Tire Centre.
Official 3 Stars of the Game
- Max Domi, Montreal (2G, 1A, 4 Shots, 4 PIMS, including the game-winning goal)
- Jonathan Drouin, Montreal (1G, 2A, 3 Shots)
- Brendan Gallagher, Montreal (1G, 4 Shots, 2 PIMS)
The Senators welcome the Canadiens to the Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday in the second game of their home-and-home series.
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|1||Montreal||1-0||14:30||Jonathan Drouin (10)||Max Domi (17), Matthew Peca (6)|
|2||Ottawa||1-1||8:49||Dylan DeMelo (3)||Mikkel Boedker (14), Chris Tierney (14)|
|2||Montreal||2-1||14:38||Max Domi (12)||Jonathan Drouin (14)|
|2||Montreal||3-1||17:29||Max Domi (13)||Jonathan (15), Paul Byron (5)|
|2||Montreal||4-1||18:17||Artturi Lehkonen (5)||Jesper Kotkaniemi (10), Andrew Shaw (8)|
|3||Montreal||5-1||4:21||Brendan Gallagher (12)||Tomas Tatar (11)|
|3||Ottawa||5-2||12:29||Mark Stone (13)||Matt Duchene (22)|
Cover Photo Credit: Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Billy Morrison covers the Ottawa Senators and the Atlantic Division for Full Press Coverage. Follow Billy on Twitter, @BillyMorrison01.