WHY THE SENATORS LOST
They wasted an undeserved opportunity. Despite sleepwalking through long stretches of the second period, the Senators somehow managed to build a 3-1 lead by scoring on their first two shots of the frame (at 10:20 and 11:13). The collapse started with Chris Campoli booting a puck into his own net, thus allowing Andrei Kostitsyn to tie it up minutes later. They put themselves in a position where one shot could cost them the game. It did.
Tomas Plekanec, Canadiens
That shot came off the stick of Tomas Plekanec with just 3:59 remaining. He busted into the Ottawa zone, dished to Andrei Kostitsyn and then buried a rebound. Plekanec also added an assist. Honourable mentions go to Kostitsyn and sparkplug captain Brian Gionta, who fired five shots and scored on the first.
Chris Phillips, Senators
The reason Plekanec was able to score is because the man who was supposed to be covering him was nowhere to be found. Phillips lost his man after the initial shot, leaving Plekanec with a wide-open look at the goal. Dishonourable mention to Matt Carkner, who finished a minus-three.
Jarkko Ruutu. When the agitator is at his best, he can win the game for his team by getting opposing players to take dumb penalties at inopportune times. When he isn’t, he just agitates his coach. Ruutu took his second dumb penalty of the night with seven minutes remaining in the third period, thanks to a headlock on Scott Gomez. While the Habs didn’t manage to score on the ensuing power play, the momentum they built off it helped push them to victory.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
A touching HNIC feature story about erstwhile Ottawa Senators star Wade Redden and his recent banishment to the American Hockey League. The New York Rangers assigned him to the Hartford Wolf Pack earlier this season to erase his $6.5 million salary cap hit from the books, a move he admits made him think about hanging up the blades for good. Instead, he parked his pride and displayed a great deal of professionalism while also adjusting to becoming a new dad. Says Redden: “I’m not really into (grudges).” Good for him.
- 40: Shots by Montreal in the game
- 2: Shots by Ottawa in the third period
- 8: Shots by trigger-happy Mike Cammalleri, the game’s leader.
- 3: Saves by Robin Lehner
- 1-19: Ottawa’s power play record this season.
- 39: Seconds of five-on-three time for the Senators.
The Senators’ top offensive players have had a field day with Montreal’s defence and goaltenders over the years, racking up points at an impressive pace. Saturday night’s contest was no different. Daniel Alfredsson notched his 100th career point against the Habs in just his 75th game (and added another assist to make it 101), while Jason Spezza upped his points total to 51 in 41 games with two helpers of his own. Unfortunately it wasn’t good enough to deliver the points that really matter — the ones in the standings.