The Montreal Canadiens staged the biggest comeback of the NHL season tonight to steal two points from their division rival Ottawa Senators, in one of the most controversial games you will ever see.
The Habs came out flying in the opening period, outshooting their Ontario opponent by a wide margin. Unfortunately for Montreal, they came away tied at one after twenty minutes, while leading the Senators 17 to 4 in shots.
Daniel Briere strpped Bobby Ryan of the puck in the Senators zone and snapped home the game’s opening goal just 38 seconds into the game. Jason Spezza quickly answered for the Senators when he blasted a shot over the glove of Carey Price to tie things up.
The Habs lost their momentum in the second period but Price did his job, stopping 15 of 16 shots fired his way in the frame, holding the Canadiens in the game and keeping the score 2-1 heading into the third period.
The third period started off poorly for the Canadiens and they quickly fell behind 4-1 on goals by Ales Hemsky and Clarke MacArthur. The score would remain that way until the final 3:30 when one of the craziest comebacks in the history of the league took place.
With 3:22 to play, Lars Eller banged in a Brian Gionta rebound that was generously left in the crease by the Ottawa Senators goaltender Robin Lehner. The goal was so useless it seemed, that Eller, who had not scored in 24 games did not even celebrate.
One minute and eighteen seconds later, Brian Gionta hammered a shot home that brought the score within one and gave the Habs life. It seemed the comeback was going to fall short, but P.K. Subban made an unbelievable heads up play with just seconds to go by declining a shot toward the Sens goal, instead passing off to the side of the net where David Desharnais gathered the puck and fired it home with just 0.4 seconds on the clock.
The buzzer sounded, the puck sat in the back of the net, the Canadiens celebrated and the Senators protested. The referees called upstairs to verify the puck crossed the line before the clock struck zero, and told Lehner to put his big boy pants on and stop complaining about Thomas Vanek being in his crease, and then declared the goal would stand.
It would not be long before the Senators would be screaming at the officials once again. Just 1:26 into the extra frame, Francis Bouillon collected a rebound in front of the Sens net and fired home the game winning goal, his first of the season.
The play began with Max Pacioretty firing a waster on net that Lehner was once again unable to smother. As the puck satin the crease next to Lehner’s skate, Desharnais drove to the net, delaying a whistle and starting a chaotic scene in the Sens crease. Eventually the puck slid free of the cluster in front, only to be found by the Habs veteran defender who made no mistake in giving the Habs two points in the standings.
These two points were pulled straight out of the Montreal Canadiens back pocket, but oh man, did they need them after a 1-4-0 stretch. Tomorrow, the Canadiens have a chance to win two in a row when they take on the Buffalo Sabres.