After losing 5-3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night 24 hours later they were back in action on the road in the nation’s capital against the Ottawa Senators.
Once again, Claude Julien made a tweak to his lineup as Artturi Lehkonen was a healthy scratch while Corey Perry made his return to the lineup. Meanwhile, Jake Allen got his 7th start of the season in place of Carey Price.
This was their third meeting of the season after the two clubs met twice in the span of a week last month with Montreal winning in Ottawa before the Senators responded with a big win at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens got off to the faster start playing with their speed and 90 seconds into the opening frame the Senators were carrying the puck into Montreal zone when the puck was stolen by no other than Josh Anderson. He took the puck and found Nick Suzuki who wired a puck top shelf glove side on Matt Murray on Montreal’s first shot of the game for the first goal of the game and the 1-0 lead.
Eight minutes later, Ottawa responded when Drake Batherson pulled off a toe drag and off a weird bounce, the puck hit Allen’s stick and blocker and found its way into the back of the net and just like that the game was tied 1-1.
The second period was a tight battle with both clubs looking to break the deadlock but it was becoming a duel of the goaltenders as Allen and Murray went toe to toe making save after save.
Both teams had time with the man advantage but the penalty killing got the job done as the period finished with no goals and the teams entering the second intermission tied at 1-1. Jonathan Drouin left late in the period after a bump from Mike Reilly and didn’t return.
The Senators, who normally play their best in the third period, kept that trend going and less than five minutes in, Josh Norris tipped a shot from the point that went up and over Allen and into the back of the net for the 2-1 lead. That was the second time in the game Ottawa had scored a goal where the puck was scored going over Allen’s head.
Montreal had another opportunity with the man advantage just past the midway mark and while it wasn’t able to generate much, Brendan Gallagher rang one off the point, their best chance of the period to that point.
However, the Canadiens got the equalizer with just under six minutes left when Jeff Petry was put under immense pressure from the Senators and managed to find Corey Perry who got the puck through Erik Gudbranson, drove to the net, and beat Murray far side, slipping the puck past him to tie the game 2-2.
That goal was enough to the game into overtime to decide the winner of the game but it assured Montreal of at least a point. Even that didn’t look like a certainty as Batherson had a breakaway with less than two minutes to go but Allen made the stop.
Brady Tkachuk ended the game with 1:30 remaining in the overtime period, one that saw the Canadiens outshot and out-chanced greatly with Allen needing to make several strong saves. Tkachuk was allowed to walk out from behind the net, got off a shot, and buried the rebound top shelf.
These two teams will meet again on Tuesday night at Canadian Tire Centre and I am sure Montreal once again will be looking for revenge.
HabsWorld Habs 3 Stars
1st Star – Jake Allen
Probably one of the best moves Marc Bergevin made this offseason was shoring up his goalie tandem with a reliable backup netminder. It was probably Allen’s best game of the season as he made some amazing key saves in pressure moments and certainly isn’t the reason why Montreal lost.
Stats: 36 saves on 39 shots, 2.83 GAA, .923 SV%
2nd Star – Nick Suzuki
He opened the scoring with another great goal and is all over the ice; whether it’s on offence or defence this kid is a battler and it’s no wonder why he’s being compared to Patrice Bergeron because he is growing into that type of player.
Stats: 1 goal, even rating, 2 PIMS, 1 shot, 12/19 faceoffs, 20:24 TOI
3rd Star – Corey Perry
He was inserted into the lineup and made an impact. He was physical, was good at battling for the puck, and scored the goal that sent the game into overtime. A great veteran presence that has a good nasty side and can be a pain in the butt for any team they play against. With this being his tenth game, he’ll now need to go through waivers to go back to the taxi squad.
Stats: 1 goal, even rating, 2 shots, 10:19 TOI