Bishop stops 44 shots to lead Senators over Canadiens

Ben Bishop wasn’t overly excited about being named the NHL’s third star of last week Monday morning.

Bishop stops 44 shots to lead Senators over Canadiens
Ottawa Senators' goaltender Ben Bishop celebrates his shoot out win against the Montreal Canadiens in NHL hockey action at the Scotiabank in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. The Sens defeated the Habs 2-1. Bishop took 45 shots on net. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Ben Bishop wasn’t overly excited about being named the NHL’s third star of last week Monday morning.

He said that was behind him and, if he had any goal, it was to become the NHL first star for this week.

Bishop made an early case to do just that, single-handedly stealing the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 shootout victory over the Montreal Canadiens Monday.

The Senators have now won five straight games — three of those via shootout. They also swept the four-game homestand, only the second time in history they’ve been perfect during a home stay which lasted at least four games.

Don’t be fooled, though. If not for Bishop, the Canadiens would have won this in a romp.

Bishop stopped 44 shots through regulation and overtime. And then, for good measure, he stopped four of five Canadiens in the shootout. Peter Regin and Jakob Silfverberg scored for the Senators in the shootout against Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.

In the three shootout wins, Bishop has stopped 13 of 15 shooters.

Bishop helped get the game to the breakaway contest when he stopped both Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban in overtime. Regin had the Senators’ best chance in overtime, hitting the post behind Price.

The game was deadlocked 1-1 after two periods, and although the Canadiens had the better chances in the third, they didn’t dominate quite as much as they had in the opening 40 minutes.

Bishop’s best third period stop came when he squeezed his pads together to rob Canadiens rookie Brendan Gallagher.

The story of the first two periods was Bishop, Bishop and, well, more Bishop.

He had an answer for everything the Canadiens threw at him, using all of his 6-foot-7 frame to make stops with his trapper, blocker and pads. He also received big help from his posts, which kept three other shots from hitting the net.

The Canadiens finally solved Bishop on their 30th shot of the night, with a mere 3.8 seconds left in the second and while on the power play due to a Chris Neil roughing penalty.

Markov’s point shot cleared a mass of players front of Bishop and caught the top of the net over the goaltender’s trapper.

The 1-1 score at that point flattered the Senators.

The game’s opening goal from David Dziurzynski, at the 6:49 mark of the second period, came on the Senators’ seventh shot of the game against Price.

As great as Price has been all season, he simply whiffed on the Dziurzynski slap shot from a bad angle outside the faceoff circle.

The Canadiens outshot the Senators 12-5 in the first period — not including the Max Pacioretty shot which hit the post behind Bishop — and they threw another six shots at Bishop in the opening 90 seconds of the second.

CHEERS

Ben Bishop, Senators

Big Ben lived up to his nickname. The Senators had no business being close after being thoroughly outplayed, especially in the opening two periods. Bishop made 29 saves in the first two periods, 39 through three periods and another six in overtime. He was also thankful for the ringing in his ears, as the Canadiens hit the post three times.

JEERS

P.K. Subban, Canadiens

The Canadiens had a chance on the power play with time running down in regulation, but Subban tripped Erik Condra to wipe out the advantage.

WHY THEY WON

Goaltending. Goaltending. Goaltending. And a nifty move by Regin on Price to give Bishop the support he needed in the shootout.

THE FLOWER BLOOMS AGAIN

Former Canadiens great Guy Lafleur was in the crowd Monday, and when he was shown on the video scoreboard with seven minutes remaining, both Canadiens and Senators fans rose to give him a standing ovation. Lafleur won the Hart Trophy (MVP) twice, the Art Ross (NHL scoring leader) three times and the Conn Smythe (playoff MVP) once, scoring 560 goals and 793 assists in 1,127 regular season games.

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