The Ottawa Senators and their fans could almost taste first place in the Atlantic Division, and indeed, it almost happened.
Settled in overtime on goals from Paul Byron and Alex Radulov, the Canadiens stretch their lead slightly over Ottawa to two points, and if Montreal can do it again on Sunday against those same Sens, it’ll be a fine four-point lead, with the best part being the mind game part.
The part that says the Habs know perfectly well that they can handle this red-hot bunch from . And for the Sens, it’s the sobering thought that maybe they can’t beat the Canadiens when the going gets tough.
Back and forth the two teams went in a game that was much less boring than most this season, with Andrew Shaw giving his team the lead in the second period before Ottawa would score a couple to take the lead into the third.
The final frame saw Philip Danault tie it up, and 31 seconds later, Brendan Gallagher would fire one from a bad angle to give the boys the lead again.
But with just 4:57 left, Ottawa tied it to the cheers of the four thousand Sens fans at the Canadian Tire Centre, and after a scoreless overtime, the Byron/Radu combo stole the show to the cheers of the fifteen thousand Habs fans.
A fine outing for Montreal, aside from a whack of giveaways and blunders mostly early on. And if Alexei Emelin, who was a healthy scratch on this night, has become your favourite whipping boy, maybe you could share some of your wrath now for Jeff Petry, who wasn’t any better on this night than Emelin was the previous game. Why should Emelin take all the blame?
But I really don’t want you to have a favourite whipping boy. We’re all in this together, management, players, and fans. It’s time to support our team and everyone on it, with the playoffs just around the corner.
And that includes pulling for guys who have off nights.
The Canadiens won a huge game, and makes my heart soar like birds at the fishing hole.
Carey Price held the fort for the most part, and although Sunday’s game means back-to-back, we need him between the pipes for that one too.
Rest in Peace, Chuck Berry.
On this day in 1892, Lord Stanley announced that he was donating his cup to hockey. Here it is here.