Rabid Habs

Canadiens vs. Senators: Game #5

Habs' Jacob De La Rose

“It’s definitely a tough building to play in. I think our job now is to get the fans in the game and try and get Ottawa to lose some momentum that way. It’s obviously an advantage playing in front of our home crowd, but it’s only that way if we get them involved in the game. It’s important to play with energy early on. That’s one way we can do that.” – Max Pacioretty

If the Montreal Canadiens wanted to play their best game of the post-season, Friday night’s game at the Bell Centre against the Ottawa Senators would be the game to aim for. The Canadiens faced a terrible one to nothing loss on Wednesday night in Ottawa and while they still have a chance to eliminate the Senators from the first round, the Senators also have a chance to grab a second game, something that the Canadiens would definitely not want. For the Canadiens, the troops aren’t in any form of panic and instead are using their one loss to create a better elimination plan. Having home-ice advantage is also a huge plus for Friday’s game, as the Canadiens will be able to use the last change to improve the match-ups for the front line. On the other side of the ice, coach Dave Cameron has decided to replace Chris Neil with Alex Chiasson while still keeping everything the same, including Craig Anderson still sitting between the pipes, replacing Andrew Hammond. With game five taking place in Montreal (aka – Habs Land), the boost of energy from the crowd and being on home ice may just be the key to eliminating Ottawa. Then again, a little bit of pressure from the Canadiens couldn’t hurt either.

Bobby Ryan lit up the lamp first at the midway mark of the first period (assisted by Mike Hoffman), which was then followed by a goal from Patrick Wiercioch with four minutes and 21 seconds left. While the Habs got off to a good start with two shot attempts on Craig Anderson, their power play three minutes in didn’t give the Habs a great chance at generating enough offense to produce anything on the scoreboard. Two goals six minutes apart gave the Canadiens a small wind of energy, but the troops still struggles to make a dent in Anderson and left the period with the Senators taking a two to nothing lead.

Five minutes and 31 seconds left of the second period and Erik Karlsson (assisted by Kyle Turris) gives the Senators a three to nothing lead against Montreal. The Habs were gaining a lot more energy than they had in the first period, but this nervous like energy led to two penalties back to back early in the game. However, a Mark Stone penalty allowed the Habs to build up an attack plan, but they just couldn’t put any shots past Anderson and remained scoreless. The Canadiens offense is running dry and if they wanted to put three goals in the net in one period, they were going to have to fight just as hard as the Senators are fighting to stay at atop of the game.

Great work by Dale Weise in front of the Ottawa net gave Tom Gilbert the chance to finally light up the lamp for the Canadiens just one minute and 44 seconds into the third period (assisted by Greg Pateryn and Lars Eller). A midway power play thanks to Erik Karlsson gave the Habs a great opportunity to put more pucks on net and while they did have a few excellent opportunities to put one past Anderson, the Canadiens just couldn’t break through and the Senators once again effectively killed off their power play. Things took a bad turn with a turnover from Andrei Markov that led to Erik Condra give the Senators their fourth goal of the night with five minutes and 58 seconds left, followed by a goal from Mike Hoffman with 49 seconds left. Despite Montreal struggling to at least be two points away from a tie, there was no beating Ottawa on Friday night and the Senators left the game with a five to one win.

The Montreal Canadiens face the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday at 6:00pm.

(Purchase your Canadiens tickets here. | Achetez vos billets des Canadiens ici.)

Follow Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @EarlxGreat.