Hot off the heels of a devastating 4-2 defeat in the first game of the series, the Canadiens are back in action hosting the Senators at the Bell Centre Friday night. The game starts at 7:00 and airs on RDS and CBC.
The Habs will be out for vengeance on Friday, not just for the loss in game 1, but for the devastating hit Eric Gryba laid on Lars Eller. The Canadiens went ahead 2-1 on the major penalty that followed the hit but the Sens scored three third period goals to seal take the victory.
What to Watch:
Brendan Gallagher picked up a goal in his first ever playoff game, scored on one of his eight shots during Thursday’s game. Alex Galchenyuk, also playing his first playoff game, earned an assist on Gallagher’s goal.
Carey Price would have probably liked to have played better on Thursday, at least during the third period. Price gave up 3 goals on 12 shots in the third, as Montreal’s 2-1 lead evaporated.
Craig Anderson was far and away Ottawa’s best player Thursday night, making 48 saves and giving the Sens the chance to win despite being badly outplayed by the Habs. Defensemen Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot each picked up a goal and an assist for the Senators, Methot notching the game winner just over five minutes into the third.
What’s at Stake:
The Canadiens have gone down one game to none in the first round. That’s not an impossible obstacle to overcome in a seven game series, but if they drop game two at home as well, they’ll be in a deep hole when the series heads to Ottawa.
The Habs will want to put on a strong performance after losing Lars Eller in the first game, but will they try to make the Sens pay physically or on the scoresheet?
While the prognosis on Eller still hasn’t been confirmed, he likely suffered a concussion and could be out of action for a long stretch, perhaps the rest of the playoffs. Alexei Emelin (knee) is also out.
The Senators are with Jason Spezza (back). They may be without Eric Gryba as well if the league decides to suspend him for his hit on Eller.
Not only did the Canadiens manage to direct 50 shots on Craig Anderson Thursday night, 27 of those came in the second period alone, a new franchise record for shots in a period during the playoffs. Gallagher led the way with 8 shots on goal but PK Subban was right behind with 7. Tomas Plekanec and Rene Bourque both had 5 shots each.
The Question Mark:
After scoring just twice on 50 shots, what do you think the Canadiens need to do to solve Craig Anderson?
Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or by using the #MtlHockey hashtag on Twitter.
Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.