Carey Price got his fifth career shutout and his third against the Ottawa Senators and Andrei Kostitsyn scored his 3rd and 4th goals of the season as the Canadiens beat the Senators 3-0 in Ottawa. Benoit Pouliot scored the other goal for Montreal.
Playing an almost perfect road game the Canadiens limited Ottawa to nineteen shots, including only three in the third period. It was the second win in a week over the struggling Senators. Last Saturday at the Bell Centre the Canadiens also limited them to 19 shots in a 4-3 come-from-behind win.
The Canadiens, will play their third game in a stretch of six games in ten nights, Monday against Phoenix at the Bell Centre.
How It Went
The First Period
It Might Have Been Different – With the Canadiens dominating through the early minutes of the game, Carey Price stepped behind the net to clear a puck and wound up putting it right on the stick of Daniel Alfredsson (he, of the 1,000 points) with the net wide open. Alfredsson missed by about three feet.
Kostitsyn Again – Three and one half minutes later Tomas Plekanec took the puck end to end and then tapped a pass back to Kostitsyn who buried a wrister to make it 1-0. At that point the shots on goal were 7-0 for Montreal.
A Little Pushback – The Senators first shot on goal came a minute later, David Hale jamming the goalmouth. In the scramble the puck wound up in the net. It was reviewed and ruled that Nick Foligno had kicked the puck past Price. No goal.
The Bells Start Ringing. Thirty seconds after the goal was waved, Chris Kelly found himself alone on his backhand and rang the puck off the post. End of the first period – 1-0. Shots on goal 10-4 Montreal.
The Second Period
More Bells – In the 5th minute, Alexei Kovalev operating from his favourite spot on the edge of the right faceoff circle, rang a one-timer off the cross-bar. Still 1-0.
Breaking Out – Kovalev and Regin tangled and fell near the Canadiens line presenting the Habs with a 3-on-1 rush. Plekanec to Moen who forced Brian Elliott to make his best save of the night.
Game Changer Part II – Carey Price, who had seen only seven shots through the first half of the game was forced to make two tough saves close in, first on Mike Fisher and then Alfredsson. Still 1-0.
It Boils Over– At 11.38 of the period Chris Campoli’s shot was stopped by Price. Matt Carkner piled in to Josh Gorges knocking him into Price and throwing both into the net. Halpern and Ruutu were got into a fight. Carkner was given an extra two minutes for cross checking.
The Power Play Checks In – With Carkner in the box, the Canadiens unloaded five shots on the Ottawa net over the next two minutes; Hamrlik, Cammalleri, Subban, Cammaller and Gorges.
Breathing Room – Four seconds after the Carkner penalty expired Josh Gorges banged a puck off the back boards right to Benoit Pouliot who was standing in front. Canadiens finally had their 2-0 lead. Shots on goal at that point were 23-11.
More Bells – In the next four minutes the Senators hit two more goalposts, Campoli at 15.45 and Michalek at 17.50. That made four in the game.
The Clincher – Great work behind the net from Cammalleri, who shook off Erik Karlsson’s checking, then stepped in front for a close in shot. Elliott poked the rebound right to Kostitsyn who buried it for his second of the game and 4th of the season. The goal came at 18:37. End of two periods 3-0. Shots on goal 27-16.
The Third Period
Shutdown Time – The Canadiens went into a shell, sending one man in to forecheck and clogging up the neutral zone with an airtight trap. In the final 21:23 of the game the Senators could muster only three shots on goal.
Preserving the Shutout – Carey Price’s best, if not most important, save came with 2:05 remaining when he slid across to nail a close-in shot from Alfredsson. It was the Senators last shot of the game. Final score 3-0. Shots on goal 34-19 for the Canadiens. The Canadiens have won four of five on the road this season.
Summing It Up – With all due respect to the Canadiens, who were impeccable, the story of the night might be the Ottawa Senators who look in complete disarray and without a noticeable system to fall back upon. For the Canadiens, the good news was again Kostitsyn, who was first star in a Senators game for the second straight game. He should have been first star in the game at Buffalo too, which would have made it three of the last four games. The entire Plekanec line was good. Subban had a big night as well. Not often a shutout goaltender is relegated to third star. Still nothing to speak of from the Gomez line. Pyatt, on the left wing, took three unremarkable shots, Gomez and Gionta 2 each. Basically, the Canadiens are a team depending on one productive offensive line. When they’re shut down, as they were on Thursday against New Jersey, the team is shut down with them.
Notes: Carey Price last recorded a shutout on November 11, 2008 also against Ottawa. Both Price and Jaroslav Halak registered shutouts on the same night . Price’s goals against average went down to 2.27 and his save% up to .916. Halak’s GAA is 1.81 and his save% .929.
Tomas Plekanec played in his 400th regular season for the Canadiens recording an assist. In 400 games he has 105 goals and 260 points.
The Best and Worst of Times – The Canadiens power play is the worst in the NHL after an 0 for 4 night and 5:21 of man advantage. They have 1 PPG in 24 opportunities – 4.2%. The Canadiens Penalty Killing is the best in the league at 92.6% – 2 goals against in 27 times shorthanded.
The Goalscorers – Montreal – Kostitsyn (3rd) (Plekanec-Subban); Pouliot (1st) (Gorges-Gomez); Kostitsyn (4th) (Cammalleri-Spacek). Ottawa – None.
Shots on Goal – Montreal 10-17-7 = 34 Ottawa 4-12-3 = 19.
Three Stars – First – Andrei Kostitsyn (2 goals – 3 shots – plus 2) Second – P.K. Subban (1 assist – 4 shots) Third – Carey Price (shutout – 19 saves)