The Montreal Canadiens took game one of the opening round series against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday Night. If they could take game 2 at home in order to force the Ottawa Senators to take 4 games out of 5 to win the series.
The Canadiens decided to start Carey Price in goal to face Andrew Hammond of the Senators. They both are excellent goalies and it just takes a minor difference in play to determine who will win each game.
The opening period was going quite well with the Senators just hardly outshooting the Canadiens 14-10, and then in the final two minutes Clarke MacArthur scored his first 2015 postseason goal with just 1:18 left in the opening period. He was assisted by Mark Stone and Cody Ceci. The Senators closed the period with a 1-0 advantage. That was the only goal of the opening period as Hammond and Price were both bringing their A game.
If the first period belonged to the Senators, then the second period clearly swung back to the Canadiens. They only allowed 3 shots on goal by Ottawa, and put two in the net behind Hammond. The first was by Max Pacioretty Power Play goal with just under 13 minutes left in the period, assisted by both David Desharnais and Andrei Markov. They took the lead just a few minutes later though on a P.K. Subban goal assisted by both Devante Smith-Pelly and David Desharnais. Subban was just now getting his first goal of the series and will be looking to keep putting those shots on Hammond to bring the pressure.
With the pressure on the Senators to avoid the 2 game deficit, they got on a Power Play after Alexei Emelin got a 2 minute minor for interference. Shortly thereafter, Patrick Wiercioch put the puck in the net to tie the game up at 2 a piece. He was assisted by both Mark Stone and Erik Karlsson on the goal.
That would lead the game down to overtime and just 3:40 into the extra period Alex Galchenyuk scored the game winner to give the Canadiens the 2 game lead they wanted on home ice in the series. He was assisted by Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Plekanec.
It remains to be seen what adjustments the Senators will make to try to bounce back in the series as they have lost the faceoff battle and shots on goal battle in game 2. They also could have been down much more since they had 6 penalties in this game, which is something they can not afford in game 3.
Game 3 of this series will likely face Hammond at home in the net - Carey Price again since they are two of the better goalies in the NHL today. Game 3 is on Sunday Evening, April 19 at 7 PM EST.