It was a game that many had been waiting 20 years to see, a playoff game between Ottawa and Montreal and the teams did not disappoint. In a game that literally had it all, the Sens were the last one's standing, thanks to a three goal 3rd period that erased a Montreal 2-1 lead heading into the final frame that gave us the shocking 4-2 win in game 1.
It was a game that we were lucky to take in all honesty. Ottawa jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to none other than EK65, but after that it was a bit of a mess. The Habs thoroughly outplayed us for most of the first, and the 2nd was one of the worst periods of hockey the Sens played all year. If you can believe it they gave up 27 shots to Montreal in the 2nd. Yes, 27! We were only hanging around due to the spectacular play of netminder Craig Anderson.
The 2nd stanza was made all that more dramatic by the Eric Gyba hit on Lars Eller. I'm sure at this point you've seen it and I won't dwell too much on here (will be writing an entire post on it) but it was at a point were the Sens could have easily folded. The Habs went up 2-1 on the PP and had a 5 on 3 after that could have put the game to bed. But the Sens being so pesky of course, well that and the number 1 PK in the league, killed it off and allowed Ottawa the chance to tie it with one shot in the final period.
They did just that. I'm not sure what was said at the 2nd intermission, or who said it, but they need to bottle it and sell it, because the Sens came out fired up and looking like a different team. They skated better, played harder, and refused to quit. All the work paid off with goals from Silfverberg to tie, Methot to take the lead and Latendresse to seal the win. Oh ya, all 3 of those were each players first career playoff goals.
In the end we held on for a 4-2 win in MTL that we had no business even being within a few goals of and that's what this team does. They get pesky when you need it, just like they have all year. They could have folded after the Gryba iincident but they didn't and that's why we love this team. On to game 2 tomorrow night at 7pm. Follow me on twitter and chat with me during every game @SensTown. Thank you for reading.
For the playoffs I'm going to say a few words about every player post game.
Thoughts from the game:
-Craig Anderson: Simply the reason we won the game. He made 48 saves, many spectacular, which is a Sens playoff regulation win record. He stood on his head and kept us in the game when we were being severely outplayed. He looked every bit the Vezina candidate he was before being injured earlier thus year.
-Jared Cowen: I thought he was solid despite being a minus one on the night. He was there to eat up minutes and be physical and that's exactly what he did. In his 16:03 of ice time, he made the Habs top players pay the price for going in the corners. A very good showing for a guy who recently just got back into the lineup.
-Marc Methot: What can you say about good ol #3, he always brings it. It wasn't his best game performance wise, but you always know he's going to bring an A+ effort and that's exactly what he did. He played his usual stellar defensive game and scored his first ever playoff goal that just happened to be the GWG. Not too shabby in your first playoff game as a member of your hometown team. Oh ya and he was a +3 too.
-Chris Phillips: Just another solid game from a playoff vet. Nothing spectacular but he dd his job, which is really all you want from a defensive defenceman. And he took care of business in front of our net.
-Kyle Turris: He was around. Nothing horrible but nothing special either. He had an assist on our first goal, which was a nice pass back to Karlsson. He started on the first line but after being ineffectie he was moved.
-Milan Michalek: Did he play? I thought he was one of Ottawa's worst skaters tonight. I don't think he's 100% as he barely has any speed at the moment. Let's hope for a better effort in game 2. At least he was a +2 so he wasn't hurting the team.
-Daniel Alfredsson: Captain my captain! What can you say about 40yr old Alfie that hasn't already been said. The guy is ageless and played with a massive intensity all night. He also got the key 2nd effort assist on Methot's GWG and was a threat all night. Typical Alfie.
-Colin Greening: Didn't really notice him except on a PK or two. That's his role though, but he's been slumping 2nd half of the season and needs to pick his game up overall.
-Zack Smith: A very quiet night for the usually unquiet Zackary Smith but that can be a good thing. He was busy playing shut down D so I'll allow it. He played his role well and took a rough hit from behind via Prust.
-Eric Condra: Played a typical Condra game. Awful on offense, game changer on the PK. He may have saved the game helping to kill off the 5 on 3 that may have ended our night.
-Chris Neil: Played a smart physical game and did what he had to. I was very impressed he took the big hit from PK Subban and didn't try and get revenge or whine. He took it like a man and went about his business. A quiet night for #25 but that isn't suggesting he didn't play well.
-Jakob Silfverberg: The rookie had the game tying goal and an assist on the 4th goal, so hard to argue he didn't have a major impact on game 1. He had 2 points and was a +2. Hard to complain about that.
-JG Pageau: He took a bad penalty and a bad spot that left me mad, but he played a pretty solid game after that. He was flying around the ice and his speed helps us in many ways.
-Sergei Gonchar: Not his best game. He was struggling to skate the puck in on the PP, took a selfish cross checking penalty and registered zero points on the evening.
-Eric Gryba: He had a few big hits early on and then began to struggle before the Eller hit that nearly cost of the game. I don't even think it was a penalty after seeing replays but the 5 and a game was almost costly. He may escape suspension but I wouldn't be surprised either way to see Wiercioch in the lineup tomorrow instead.
Erik Karlsson: Just a typical EK65 game. A goal, an assist, +3 on the evening and 27:39 TOI. The real amazing thing about that stat line is this wasn't even a great game from him. He's that good.
-Guillaume Latendresse: He looked motivated to play his old team and that's a good thing for #73. He came back to haunt them and score his first ever playoff goal to seal the 4-2 win.
-Cory Conacher: He doesn't look like a huge scoring threat BUT he sure did play hard. For a guy his size, he lives around the net looking for rebounds to dump in the net. Loved his effort.
-Mika Zibanejad: I thought he was quietly one of the best Sens players tonight. He didn't do anything flashy but he played hard, made the right plays and had 2 points. Solid overall play from a guy in his first career NHL playoff game
With 48 saves and a spectacular performance, Craig Anderson wins the night in game 1