P.K. Subban scored 23 seconds into the overtime period to give the Canadiens a come from behind 5-4 win over the Senators Thursday night in Ottawa. Tomas Plekanec’s second goal of the night on a breakaway in the third period’s 12th minute tied the game after the the Senators had totally dominated the Canadiens through the first two periods. David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty also scored for the Canadiens, who took a 3-0 lead in the game on only 5 shots. Clarke MacArthur, Erik Karlsson, Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris scored the Ottawa goals. Ottawa outshot the Canadiens 44-23.
Adding It Up –
Out To Dry – Carey Price was left to his own devices through the first two periods as 80 percent of his teammates failed to turn up for the game. He faced 19 shots in each of the first two periods. Of the 38 shots, 25 were glorious scoring chances. On weight of numbers the fact that he gave up only four goals was a compliment not a detriment.
Special Teams – The first period was surreal. There were only two penalties called in the game. Raphael Diaz took the first one in the second minute. Tomas Plekanec was sent in alone by Travis Moen for his third shorthanded goal of the season. At 12:58 Jared Cowren was sent off for tripping and Max Pacioretty scored the Canadiens first power play goal in six games. And 72 seconds later David Desharnais scored. The scoreboard read 3-0 Canadiens. The shot clock read 15-5 Senators.
Intimidated – This game had all of the trappings of the Canadiens/Senators playoff series last spring. The Senators took out the Canadiens in 5 games back in April by laying the body on the Canadiens and it was more of the same through the first two periods of this game. After two periods the hits were 37-20 for Ottawa who also led the shots-attempted 60-26. Nary a battle won and a lot of snow being thrown by one side.
The Wakeup Call – After two periods the shots on goal were 38-17 and yet it was a one-goal game. I have no idea what went on in the Habs dressing room between periods, but I’m sure there was a certain level of embarrassment over the way Carey Price was left to his own devices by almost every one of this teammates was part of the equation. Whatever the scenario, a different Canadiens team turned up for the third period. After bowing meekly to the Senators for 40 minutes, it was the Canadiens who outhit the Senators 16-7. They shutdown the Senators offense and were rewarded.
Two Who Tried – There were two members of the Habs who put in a full night’s work. One was Brendan Gallagher who only knows one way to play. He took eight of Canadiens 23 shots. The other was Plekanec who had a target on his back the whole night but kept coming back. Shorthanded goal in the first and the game tieing goal off a glorious breakaway pass from Brian Gionta to tie the game. Unbelievable!!
Playing For the Point – The tieing goal came with just under nine minutes left. It was clear that the goal of the Canadiens was to get out of Kanata with a point. The Canadiens managed one shot the rest of the way and allowed the Senators three. Point stolen.
Celebration – Twenty-three seconds into the overtime P.K. Subban, who was one of the few who had a good night, finally did his thing. He fought his way in front and managed to get a second attempt to the net while falling. The puck trickled past Craig Anderson and then he helped it into his own net with his pad. And the celebration was on. They are calling the win ‘highway robbery’ in Ottawa, and they may have a point.
Worth Mentioning – …..It is becoming increasingly hard to figure out where the Canadiens team psyche is right now. They lose games they should win, win games they should lose and one way or the other, every night becomes an adventure. Still they keep hanging in, third in the Atlantic division three points behind Boston and two behind TampaBay.
Moving On – Once again the Canadiens are in position to win two in a row. Is anyone betting they’ll be able to accomplish it in Toronto Saturday night. And after Toronto, the four game road trip continues in Detroit and Pittsburgh next week.