The Montreal Canadiens fell behind early, and their comeback bid fell just short as they fell 4-3 in overtime to the Ottawa Senators last night at the Bell Centre.
Colin Greening opened the scoring for the visitors just 13 seconds into the game on a cross crease feed from Eric Condra. It was an ugly start for the Habs, that turned unusual when the ensuing faceoff was delayed due to a bat flying just above ice level.
The sluggish start lasted most of the first period, as the Canadiens were outshot 14-10 in the opening frame and found themselves behind 3-1 when the first 20 minutes were complete. Daniel Briere had the lone marker for the Canadiens, capitalizing on a feed from Travis Moen after being left alone in front.
The score remained the same throughout the second period, but the Canadiens comeback efforts were rewarded early in the third. Briere found the back of the net once again, showing off some nifty stick work to pull the puck from behind the net, and deposit it into the top shelf behind Craig Anderson.
Captain Brian Gionta would tie up the score when a Tomas Plekanec shot fooled Anderson but sat in the crease behind the netminder. Gionta jumped on the opportunity and finally ended his 13 game goalless drought with a two footer.
Briere added an assist on Gionta’s goal, ending his night with a much needed two goals and three points after being a healthy scratch in the past two games.
More strange than the fact Briere threw up three points, or even that there was a bat on the ice, was that Douglas Murray had a pair of assists on the night. Murray had been held scoreless in his first 22 games in a Habs sweater, but the man who moves at glacial speeds found the scoresheet twice.
The Habs grabbed a point when the game went to overtime, but their comeback ended soon after when Clarke MacArthur scored on a power play less than a minute into extra time. The Senators were granted a head scratcher of a man advantage when P.K. Subban was sent to the box with 18 seconds left in regulation on a phantom hooking call.
It was encouraging to see the Habs come from behind instead of blowing a lead in the third period, but it is always tough losing to an Atlantic Division foe.
The Canadiens are back in action tomorrow night when they host the Florida Panthers.