In what was the second road game in as many nights for the Montreal Canadiens, they looked tired and over matched as they fell 4-1
on Thursday against a desperate Senators team who know it is now or never to make a push for the playoffs.
As a result, the Habs’ season-long six-game road win streak came to an end.
Montreal came out flat in the first period and the Senators were able to capitalize just over a minute into the game when Mika
Zibanejad was able to tuck a point shot rebound past Dustin Tokarski off a won faceoff by the Senators. Ottawa continued their strong play early as Tokarski was able to make a few key saves on dangerous scrambled plays and Montreal was able to weather the storm.
With just over five minutes to go in the period, a redirected Brendan Gallagher stretch pass found
Max Pacioretty’s stick and he was able to beat Anderson with his trade mark quick release to even the score at one apiece.
However, just under two minutes later, the Senators retook the lead when after a failed Montreal clearing attempt, Jean-Gabriel Pageau was able to bury another rebound past Tokarski.
All in all it was not a pretty period for the Canadiens as Ottawa was all over them early, making them look slow and tired. The Senators outshot the Canadiens 20-6 in the period.
In the second period it was again the Senators striking early, making it a 3-1 game as Erik Karlsson wired a slap shot past Tokarski to finish what was a semi 4-on-2. A few minutes later the Canadiens came close no narrowing the margin as Jiri Sekac hammered one off the post.
Coming off the game against Columbus where the Canadiens finished their comeback with three straight powerplay goals, they were able to get
several powerplays in the second and although they created some chances, ultimately they were unable to capitalize. Overall the Canadiens played much better in the second period, outshooting the Sens 14-7 but were unable to beat Anderson.
The Canadiens made a push early in the third period with Brendan Gallagher getting some quality scoring chances. Montreal tried to keep pushing but ultimately looked out of gas and the Senators scored their fourth goal of the game into an empty net.
HabsWorld 3 Stars of the Night
1st Star – Brendan Gallagher
Gallagher was his usual gritty and hardworking self. He also generated some of the most dangerous chances the Habs had all night as well as picking up an assist on the team’s only goal.
Stats: 1 assist, -1 rating, 2 shots, 19:13 TOI
2nd Star – Max Pacioretty
Pacioretty scored the only goal for the Canadiens tonight making it the sixth straight game that he has found the back of the net and becoming the first Hab to accomplish the feat since Denis Savard in 1991. Pacioretty continued to pose threats offensively and led the team with
five shots on goal.
Stats: 1 goal, -1 rating, 5 shots (12 attempts),
3rd Star – Dustin Tokarski
Despite allowing three goals in what was a losing effort, Tokarski made 31 saves to keep his team in the game. Overall he was really solid and can’t be faulted for the loss.
Stats: 31 saves on 34 shots, 3.13 GAA, .912 SV%
Honorable Mention – Jiri Sekac
In the slightly under 12 minutes Sekac played he was noticeable and often dangerous when on the ice. He provided some much needed offensive energy while playing with speed and taking the puck to the net.
Stats: 0 points, 0 shots, 2 takeaways, 11:51 TOI