With the series tied 1-1, the Montreal Canadiens travelled to Ottawa for Game
3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Despite the return of Max
Pacioretty and Brian Gionta, the Canadiens were unable to seize the momentum
that they had gained in Game 2, and lost decisively 6-1. From the outset
of the puck drop, the Canadiens appeared to have less energy than the Senators,
and were significantly outworked by Ottawa at all ends of the ice. Michel
Therrien’s squad will have to regroup quickly, lest they fall behind 3-1 in the
series on Tuesday.
The first period didn’t begin well for the Canadiens, as undisciplined plays
from Max Pacioretty and Josh Gorges put the Senators on an extended 5-on-3
powerplay five minutes into the game. The Sens wasted no time with this
golden opportunity to gain momentum and Daniel Alfredsson buried a powerplay
marker at 5:58 of the opening stanza. But with Chris Neil off serving a
roughing penalty, the Canadiens evened the score as a bouncing puck eluded Craig
Anderson. Rene Bourque got credit for this goal at 14:34 of the first period.
The Senators regained their lead 4:40 into the second period, as a nice pass
caught Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban flat-footed; J.G. Pageau made no mistake in
burying a hard shot past Carey Price. The goal was additionally
unfortunate for the Canadiens, as Subban took a high-sticking penalty on the
play, but Montreal managed to keep the goal-differential at one. As the
period progressed, the Canadiens seemed to falter and grow fatigued under the
Senators relentless fore-check, and were fortunate to emerge from the period
down by only a single goal.
The game quickly degraded in third, as Pageau recorded his second goal of the
game, wristing a stoppable shot past Carey Price at 1:18. The rout began
after the Canadiens got caught up ice, and in failing to mount an effective
back-check, Kyle Turris was left alone to score his first of the playoffs.
The Canadiens then tried to prove that they were in fact, alive, as Ryan White,
Jarred Tinordi, Francis Bouillon, Travis Moen and Colby Armstrong all dropped
the gloves. Sadly, this accomplished nothing but intensifying their team’s
shame and drawing the extra penalty. Jakub Silfverberg quickly scored on
the powerplay after Raphael Diaz couldn’t corral a Tomas Plekanec faceoff win,
making it 5-1. Perhaps the only "win" arrived shortly thereafter, when
Subban took umbrage with a late shove from Turris, and solidly took him down
with a series of hard punches. From that point on, the referees refused to
call anything against Ottawa, and Montreal faced an extended 5-on-3, and then
5-on-4. After Brendan Gallagher fought Cory Conacher, Pageau completed his
hat-trick on yet another powerplay. This unfortunately delayed the end of
the game even more for this writer, as the ice needed to be cleared of the
ballcaps. Finally, when Bourque took a double-minor with 18 seconds to go,
Ottawa’s head coach, Paul MacLean, opted to behave without class, and took an
unnecessary timeout to prolong Montreal’s agony.
HabsWorld 3 Stars
#1 – Brendan Gallagher
There doesn’t appear to be an "off" switch on the rookie, as Gallagher
seemingly embraced the hatred of the Senators and Scotia Bank Place in game 3.
Despite being aggressively targeted throughout the game, Gallagher never quit,
and he was a constant scoring threat.
#2 – Rene Bourque
Although his goal wasn’t a work of beauty, it was sufficient to keep the
Canadiens in the game for a short while. His goal, however, isn’t the sole
reason why Bourque earned a star tonight. Bourque was one of the few
Canadiens that was consistently first to the puck, and he drove the net on a
regular basis. His physical play was adequate, and his tenacity created a
few scoring chances for the Canadiens.
#3 – Tomas Plekanec
Plekanec played his usual smart game, and despite tight-checking, managed to
create a few chances. Plekanec continued his strong post-season
performance in the face-off dot, finishing with 56% on the night.