Senators win 3-2 over Habs, take 3-1 series lead
Ottawa Senators' Montreal Canadiens' Raphael Diaz (61) Brandon Prust (8) and Tomas Plekanec react after the Ottawa Senators scored to tie the game during the third period of game four of first round NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
by Kristian Gravenor, CTV Montreal
Published Tuesday, May 7, 2013 7:54PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 7, 2013 11:28PM EDT
Kyle Turris scored the winning goal early into overtime Tuesday to give the Senators a 3-2 win and a three-games-to-one series stranglehold over the Canadiens.
Turris lifted a soft wrist shot high on the blocker side of backup goaltender Peter Budaj, who had replaced the injured Carey Price, a victim of a lower-body injury suffered late in the third period. It was just the second shot against Budaj, who had limited playoff experience prior to the appearance.
The puck bounced off Budaj's blocker and deflected on an angle into the net at 2:32 into overtime. Marc Methot and Erik Karlsson were credited with assists on the play, which sent the Ottawa faithful into screaming delirium.
It was the third straight goal for the Senators and the team's second goal in just three minutes of play, as the home team had tied the game in dramatic fashion with just 23 seconds left in the third period.
The tying goal was scored when Corey Conacher escaped the attention of defenceman Josh Gorges and buried a puck from the slot on a goalmouth scramble with just 23 seconds remaining.
Kyle was handed the puck by a tumbling Brandon Prust, who inadvertedly tapped the puck onto Conacher's stick, allowing the Senators to go into overtime tied with the Canadiens.
After the game, a visibly-disappointed Canadiens' coach Michel Therrien complained about the officiating. The game was full of controversial decisions, including a Senators goal scored off a skate and an icing called against the Canadiens after Erik Karlsson made little effort to catch up to the puck before it passed the red line.
Instead, Therrien focused on a decision to have an important face-off to Carey Price's right, which he said disrupted his strategy and led to a crucial goal.
Therrien credited his squad with a solid effort nonetheless. "We came to play and this is exactly what we did. We certainly deserved a better fate, but it’s one of those nights that… it’s tough to explain,” he said.
More controversy on goal scored off skate
The Ottawa Senators had pulled to within one goal thanks to a controversial goal at 11:55 in the third, which was credited to Mika Zibanejad. The goal went in past Carey Price after deflecing off Zibanejad's skate. Chris Neil and Sergei Gonchar were credited with assists on the goal.
Video officials in Toronto reviewed the play and deemed that Zibanejad, who had slipped into the slot behind rookie defenceman Jarred Tinordi, did not intentionally aim to score with his skates.
The Senators had been the aggressors early in the third period, leading the Canadiens in shots 7-1 at a certain point.
However the goal appeared to reawaken the Canadiens, who played with much more energy in the minutes following, wreaking more havoc in the Ottawa zone.
Habs grab 2-0 lead
The Canadiens scored their two goals in a brief burst in the second period on markers by P.K. Subban and Alex Galchenyuk.
P.K. Subban scored the game's first goal, his first goal of the series, at 2:52 of the second period, beating Craig Anderson on a picture-perfect wrist shot high on the blocker side, taken from the right circle.
Subban scored on a nifty pass from Tomas Plekanec, who craftily feigned his intention to dump the puck deep into the Senators' zone from centre ice, but instead accelerated past a defender along the left boards and saucered the puck to a streaking Subban. Michael Ryder also drew an assist on the goal after taking a hit to make the first pass.
Just 62-seconds later, Galchenyuk also beat Anderson with a high shot, but this time on the glove side, as he swept in close on a passs from Jeff Halpern. It was Galchenyuk's first goal of the series as well, as he appeared to be playing a much stronger game than in Game Three, leading the team with four shots midway through the game.
After a scoreless first period, the Canadiens showed great speed and power early in the second, showing off their high-paced, fast-skating style.
The Senators ended up with 34 shots against the Candiens' goaltenders, while the Habs had 28 shots against Anderson.
Alex Galchenyuk who impressed throughout, was responsible for four of those shots, even though Coach Michel Therrien gave him 10:30 of ice time in the game.
The hositilities from Game Three did not appear to have spilled over, except perhaps when Brandon Prust was penalized for making contact with Eric Gryba's helmet on a bodycheck in the Canadiens' zone.
The Habs were without Brian Gionta and Ryan White, who were replaced in the lineup by Jeff Halpern and Gabriel Dumont.
Brandon Prust and Carey Price were both injured near the end of the game and are question marks for Game Five.