The Sens are in town in a Northeast Division matchup between the 1st and 8th place teams in the Conference. Montreal is in tough as Ottawa brings and extremely talented lineup to the table. So far it is all tied up at 1.
Ottawa 1-0: Koivu takes a penalty in the defensive zone and the NHL’s number one power play goes to work on the Canadiens. Early on in the PP, Marian Hossa sends the puck down low for Martin Havlat who sends the puck cross-crease to Bryan Smolinski. On it’s way, the puck deflects off of Quintal’s stick and into the net. Havlat gets the goal, his career high 25th, from Marian Hossa and captain Daniel Alfredsson
Tied 1-1: This time it is the Canadiens turn to go on the Power Play. Koivu makes a nice interception on a Senators clearing attempt and gets it down low to Zednik. A shifty Zednik is able to walk out in front of the net and he attempts to jam it home. Lalime stands tall but the puck squirts over onto the waiting stick of Michael Ryder who makes no mistake and buries it for his 17th of the season. Ryder continues to lead all rookies in scoring, while Zednik and Koivu grab the assists.
Ottawa 2-1: Late in the period, recent callup Karl Dykhuis commits a costly mistake. With time ticking away in the second period, Dykhuis gives the puck up to the Senators, namely Daniel Alfredsson, who gets the puck to Mike Fisher. Fisher takes a wrist shot that handcuffs Theodore as Stephane Quintal provided the screen in front. A critical mistake by Dykhuis in what was otherwise a good effort from the Canadiens in the second against one of the top teams in the NHL.
Tied 2-2: Another PP for the Canadiens and in classic Ryder fashion he gets his second goal of the game. Brisebois gets him the puck and Ryder is given time and space. He walks in from the sideboards and wrists one home to the top shelf on Lalime. A beautiful shot that we have seen from Ryder numerous times this season.
Habs 3-2: With under a minute left in the game the Habs bring it into the Sens zone and following a couple of close calls, including a great chance for Begin, Bouillon gets it at the point. He lets go a rather weak shot that is redirected by Begin right in front of the net. The puck trickles past Lalime and the Canadiens take a late 3-2 lead.
Habs 4-2: No real pressure is sustained by the Sens with the 6 on 4 opportunity and the Habs get it down the ice with the empty net waiting. Dackell got it down low to Sundstrom who passed it right in front for Juneau and Juneau made no mistake, getting his 5th goal into an empty net. \
Habs Hero: Why look any further than Michael Ryder? 2 goals on the night and he created numerous other chances. This kid has really come out of nowhere and he should be one of the finalists for the Calder.
Habs Zero: Karl Dykhuis is really proving why he has spent his time in the AHL this season. A terrible giveaway late in the second could have cost the Habs the game, and he made other defensive mistakes throughout the night aswell. He just doesn’t look comfortable playing in the NHL right now.
Notes: The Sens hit a couple of posts early in the third period which would have really killed the Canadiens hopes…Begin now has 6 goals since making his return to the lineup, including 3 in his last 2 versus Ottawa…Defenceman Andrei Markov is expected to make his return to the Canadiens lineup for Thursday’s matchup with Boston…Richard Zednik continues to be snake-bitten as he missed numerous chances tonight.