Game Summary - Game 48: Price is close to right without being over, Habs beat Sens 5-4 in OT

By Luke Peristy

They say that familiarity breeds contempt, so when you throw in geographical proximity, one fanbase with an easily offended and misguided sense of justice, one fanbase which likes to watch the other fans be unhappy for a change, and some (hilariously) lopsided results over the past 12 months, the rivalry between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators has contempt with a dash of something extra.

Even the players are not immune. Contrary to the talk of hockey players being emotionless professionals who just take things "one game at a time", Paul Maclean, Jason Spezza, Clarke MacArthur, and Robin Lehner let it be known that the Senators go into games against Montreal with a bit more Bobby Ryan inclusive synonym for intensity.

Paul Maclean: "I think they bring out the competitive nature of our team."

Jason Spezza: "It's a natural rivalry with how close it is and now that we've played them in the playoffs I think it has intensified. Usually it's a split building and it's pretty feisty in there so they've always led to good games."

Clarke MacArthur: "There's definitely more emotion in the game, it just feels like a pride game more than other games."

Robin Lehner: "There will be only destruction. The guilty shall be struck down by the righteous. They shall wail in the streets as the blood..." [Quote continues for 20 more minutes]

This game was not lacking for storylines as the Senators could move into a playoff spot with a win, the Canadiens were trying to avoid losing 3 of their last 4, and Chris Neil made his triumphant return return was of no importance whatsoever as Matt Kassian drew into the lineup bumping Jean-Gabriel "Habs Kryptonite" Pageau back to the AHL in the process. Would this prevent me from inventing facetious narratives to add excitement to the game recap? Unlikely!

Let's get to the hockey-related lies!

1st Period

18:28 - A Habs player whose name I am unaware of (let's call him "Player 61") cross-checks Cory Conacher and is sent to the box. Unfortunately, during the ensuing Senators powerplay, Kyle Turris forgets to account for all 4 Canadiens skaters and Tomas Plekanec picks Craig Anderson's five-hole on a breakaway. 1 - 0 Canadiens

7:02 - Mark Stone trips Player 61 and Ottawa is shorthanded. TSN tells me that Player 61 is "Raphael Diaz", which is weird because that's clearly the fake name he uses to check into hotels. During the powerplay Max Pacioretty scores on the first Habs shot since 5:02 of the first. 2 - 0 Canadiens

4:24 - The Senators break down in their defensive zone like they're a funk band rhythm section. Desharnais walks in and scores. 3 - 0 Canadiens

4:00 - Emboldened by their INSURMOUNTABLE 3-0 lead, the Canadiens fans at Canadian Tire Place begin to sing "Ole". There is no word for "hubris" in French.

2:47 - Clarke MacArthur tips a Karlsson shot from the point through the legs of Carey Price. The shot is clocked at "the speed of smell", but they all count and it's 3 - 1 Canadiens.

1:35 - Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson run the ol' give-and-go if by "ol' give-and-go" you mean "consecutive slap passes greater than 50 feet in length that end up precisely on the tape and result in an Erik Karlsson tap in". Damn, these guys are good. #Analysis 3 - 2 Canadiens

Parents, talk to your kids about Erik Karlsson before someone else does.

1st Period Impressions: Don't be fooled by the score; the Senators dominated this period outshooting the Habs 19 to 7. Montreal's 3-0 lead was due to Senators errors, but Ottawa did a great job of keeping their intensity high and they were duly rewarded with two goals before the 1st intermission. 

2nd Period

14:11 - The early part of the 2nd period is punctuated by long periods of pressure by the Senators. Shots are 8 - 1 in favour of the Sens. At this point, Ottawa seems more likely to score than Marc Methot at Crazy Horse.

11:10 - Carey Price makes his 28th save of the game by absolutely robbing Milan Michalek. Speculation begins that Price is trying to have a big game to entrench himself as Team Canada starter in the Olympics. In that case, it's nice of his team to take the night off so that Price can generate a nice highlight reel.

10:05 - The Canadiens spend some time in the Senators zone. I figure I better make a note of this because who knows when it will happen again.

5:27 - Bobby Ryan has a great chance on the doorstep, but Price makes the stop. 30 seconds later, Mark Stone by Price. There are allegedly other players for Montreal on the ice, but both myself and the Senators are acting as if they are of no consequence.

2:44 - Bobby Ryan decides that he's seen enough and takes matters into his silky, silky mitts. His wrist shot from the right circle beats Price stick side. Obviously Price had decided he only needs to worry about stopping shots from Olympians. 3 - 3 Tie

1:20 - Kyle Turris scores on a 3-on-2 after running a give-and-go with Clarke MacArthur. The Habs look like they could use a break, but Michel Therrien refuses to disrespect his own team by calling timeout. 4 - 3 Senators

2nd Period Impressions: Total shots are 38 to 17 in favour of Ottawa. The score is 4 - 3 in favour Ottawa. All is right in the world.

3rd Period

13:30 - The breakneck pace of the first 2 periods seems to have slowed down somewhat. Probably by this point, the Canadiens have recognized the pointlessness of their existence and are merely playing out the rest of the string until they reach their inevitable demise. But then again, aren't we all?

8:58 - Jared Cowen suffers from a series of very bad events that happen all at once. First, his risky cross-ice pass is broken up by Gionta. Second, he is slow at getting on his horse to cover Plekanec who begins streaking down the ice behind him. Thirdly, Craig Anderson makes the save on Plekanec's breakaway chance. Finally, the rebound goes off the stopping Cowen's skate and deflects into the net. I think that sequence is joke enough. 4 - 4 Tie

6:00 - Reversing the trend of the preceding 54 minutes, the game takes on a decidedly defensive bent. Carey Price slowly dismounts from his game-long headstand.

2:55 - Erik Karlsson doesn't care about your defense as he forces a Montreal turnover. Milan Michalek can't convert on the ensuing opportunity. "This will certainly not be a missed opportunity that haunts the team later on." I say to no one in particular. I like this phrase so much, I decide to get it as a tattoo. GET AT ME, FATE!

0.0 - The 3rd period ends with the teams tied at 4. I arrive at one of Kingston's many fine tattoo parlours.


4:39 - P.K. Subban's shot trickles through Anderson. I don't want to talk about the goal or my now-incomplete tattoo.

Canadiens win 5-4.

The Wisdom

In the pro column: Ottawa put forward a strong effort and had chances to win the game despite a very strong goaltending performance from Carey Price. Ottawa will not lose most of the games in which they play like they did tonight. Also, they still got a point.

In the con column: Craig Anderson was the 2nd best goaltender on the ice tonight. And also, well...

*pulls up chair*

*sits down*

*holds your hands firmly but lovingly*

Now, you know your mother and I are not in the habit of ripping on players just because they had a bad game or made a mistake or can't fill the hole in your heart where Daniel Alfredsson used to be. We are all human. However, we feel like we have a duty to tell you that Jared Cowen did not have a very good game tonight in the sense that several errors that he made led directly to Montreal's tying goal. I mean, sure he had 2 assists, led the team in ice time, and was a +1, but mostly it's Jared Cowen's fault. This is a team game, but Jared Cowen is on the team. The alternative is to believe that such mistakes could happen to anyone, but then how would we know who to direct our rage towards?

Ottawa will try to keep their point streak alive this Saturday at 2PM against the New York Rangers.
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