Everyone coaches the importance of getting off to a great start in sports. Whether it's football, hockey, basketball, or baseball, it's always great to start off with a quick lead and then keep the lead by being aggressive or even maybe conservative depending on the time left.
Ottawa appeared to get off to a rough start in Game 5 in Montreal. Less than a minute into the game, they were called for a 2 minute minor for two many players on the ice. Bobby Ryan served the penalty time for the Senators who caught a break as they were able to stop all the shots during the penalty. But Ryan wanted to make up for the penalty and was able to get in a long shot past Carey Price to take a 1-0 lead. He was assisted by Mike Hoffman and Mika Zibanejad. So they did actually get off to a good start. They did even better though as later in the period Patrick Wiercioch would score his second goal of the series without any assists. 2-0 lead for Ottawa heading into the first intermission had to feel good for the Senators as they were trying to regain their momentum from before they came into the playoffs and lost those three games to open the series.
At the 14:04 mark in the second period, David Desharnais of the Canadiens was called for a two minute minor for interference, and the Senators would not wait long to capitalize. Erik Karlsson would score for the Senators on the Power Play with assists from Kyle Turris and Mark Stone. That was pretty much everything from the second period as the Senators felt comfortable with a 3 goal lead into the final period.
That comfort must have been squashed shortly into the third period however though, as Tom Gilbert of the Canadiens scored a goal less than 2 minutes into the final period to fire up a comeback for the Canadiens on their home ice. Greg Pateryn and Lars Eller were able to help with assists and unfortunately for the Canadiens, that would be the only goal they would get past Craig Anderson in this contest. Anderson would save 45 shots of the 46 attempted by the Canadiens in this game, for a quite impressive 98% save percentage.
The comeback was stopped though as the Senators would add two more goals in the waning moments of the game. Erik Condra was able to score after a bad turnover by the Canadiens between the blue lines for another unassisted goal in the game. Bobby Ryan added a second goal assisted by Mike and Mika again on a late Power Play to tack on another goal. This would give the Senators their final tally, as they won 5-1 to force game 6 back in Ottawa on Sunday.
Carey Price had a poor game and this writer is curious if they will hold him out of Game 6 to rest him for game 7 since he was only able to save 80% of the shots he faced, stopping only 20 shots in the game. The Canadiens were able to shoot 21 more shots, which is almost unheard of, but they just weren't able to beat Anderson in this game.
Game 6 of this series will take place on Sunday, April 26 as the Senators absolutely must win again to force a 7th and decisive game of the series.