The first two periods were rather uneventful for both teams, with no goals scored. The Canadiens penalty kill got a decent workout, as did the powerplay. The PK allowed only 1 power play goal, a cannon by Jason Spezza, but otherwise held the Sens at bay, most notably with a few 4 minute penalties for high-sticking and one in overtime.
The Canadiens received scores from Tomas Plekanec, his 9th of the season, on a shorthanded effort. Ottawa tied the game on a shot by Kyle Turris, then took the lead on Spezza‘s power play bullet. Max Pacioretty tied the game at 19:21, with Price pulled for the extra attacker, and the Habs successfully killed off a penalty called 10 seconds later on Josh Gorges that extended into OT.
Overtime didn’t solve it, and the game went to the shootout. Here, I thought Cunneyworth made some bizarre personnel choices, almost a-la-Jacques-Martin.
He went with Eller first, which I wouldn’t normally disagree with, but I felt Eller didn’t really have an impact on this game other than multiple offsides on deke attempts. However, the most bizarre decision was to send Tomas Kaberle out for the shootout, instead of Erik Cole, Desharnais or Plekanec (who admittedly isn’t great at it, but had a great game otherwise).
Alfredsson would put the game away in the 3rd round, and the Habs gained a sole point.
- Pacioretty scored a great goal. Important, timely, big. No other way to put it, we needed that point badly and he gave us a chance to win it.
- Erik Cole. He hits, he has incredible speed and an excellent shot. He created multiple opportunities, played 20:01 and finished +1 on the night with no points.
- Cunneyworth’s shootout decision. It was his first, so I’ll cut him some slack, but it wasn’t great personnel management.
- Yannick Weber. I don’t think he’s great defensively, and he’s not helping the powerplay at this point. Hopefully we’re showcasing him, because we have too many smallish players already. I would take Diaz over him, mainly because he can contribute on offense and defense.
- The powerplay. Blanked again. The Canadiens received multiple opportunities to score goals on the PP, but couldn’t cash in. I appreciate Kaberle‘s work on the PP, but we’re still horrible on it. Should and has to be better.
My Three Stars
1. Daniel Alfredsson - game-winning goal!
2. Max Pacioretty – in 17:00 mins of ice-time, 1 goal and finished +1.
3. Craig Anderson – was strong in the shootout and finished with a 0.942 save percentage.