When it comes to divisional play this season the Montreal Canadiens have struggled, mightily I might add. Coming into tonight the Habs possessed a record of 2-4-1 versus divisional rivals while the Ottawa Senators have been rolling with four straight victories with Ben Bishop leading the way. Tonight Bishop would play the hero once again stopping 44 of 45 shots helping his team earn the extra point in the shootout.
Fast forward a bit and a late Senators penalty gave the Canadiens a chance to put the game on ice (pun intended) however last season’s most penalized player P.K Subban was called off for tripping when in fact he was as innocent as a dove. Add another dive to Ben Bishop’s two from earlier in the game. With the two points still on the line the game would head to overtime where once again the Habs would have a power play (albeit a short one) with Kyle Turris being called for hooking Diaz while trying to clear the zone. Just like before a few held breaths but this game still required a winner so it was off to the shootout. Jakob Silfverberg and David Desharnais would tally goals for their teams early on and then Montreal had not one but two chances to finish this game. Unfortunately after Brendan Gallagher’s obvious attempt was stopped and Brian Gionta having issues staying with the puck it was Peter Regin’s impressive goal that would be the game winner tonight.
Overall, Montreal peppered Ben Bishop with 45 shots and that does not include the three times the Habs hit the post robbing them every which way from victory tonight. I can sit here and explain in detail just how great Lars Eller, Alex Galchenyuk among others played tonight but the real story was Ben Bishop and how he has put this Senators squad on his back as of late. One thing I will mention however is my thoughts on what has been labelled as “pity points”. Now yes the Habs by all means should have won tonight but I like to think of it this way; If a team gives up their lead and loses in the extra frame it acts as two losses as opposed to just one. In tonight’s tilt it was the Habs who had to battle back and force overtime. Yes they had their chances but not every team is going to bury every chance they get every time. So in my opinion tonight’s shootout loss serves as a victory in defeat with the Habs pushing their point streak to eight games. Up next for the Habs are the Toronto Maple Leafs who own a 2-0 record against Montreal this season including a 6-0 thrashing of the Canadiens back on February 9th. Ironically since that loss is when Montreal began their longest point streak in recent memory.
GO HABS GO