Habs fans are starting to get a little bit antsy, and with good reason, as the team has nearly allowed for the evaporation of the 3-0 series lead they once held. One more loss, and they'll be looking at a decisive game seven, which at this point seems like it could go either way, even though it would be played on home ice.
Possession has been good, you could maybe even say great, but in the last two games that has done little for them in terms of actually winning. Craig Anderson should have been the starting goaltender for Ottawa in this series from the very outset, but now that he is, he's been the difference for his team.
The Senators surrendered a 3-0 lead in this series, but they changed goaltenders and stuck with it, and now it is much closer than it looked to be. If these Canadiens don't want to be known as the team that gave up a 3-0 lead with the best goaltender in the world minding their net, they'd do well to go into this one as if it were do or die, because that is indeed the case for the Sens.
How to Watch
Start time: 6:00 PM ET/ 3:00 PM PT
In the Canada: CBC, TVA
In the United States: CNBC
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter
Tale of the Tape
|52.3%||Shot Attempts for (%)||47.7%|
|8||5 on 5 Goals For||7|
|7||5 on 5 Goals Against||8|
|6%||Power Play Percentage||25%|
|75%||Penalty Kill Percentage||94%
Keys to the game
Figuring out how to make that red light behind Craig Anderson go off more consistently would be an excellent place to start. They've done well possession wise all series, and are generating a great amount of shots on goal, but in the last two games of this series they've managed a measly one goal. It's a simple game in that the team who scores more wins, and the Habs are simply going to need to do more of that if they want to move on.
Perhaps the easiest thing to do that would inject some scoring into the lineup would be to find some room for P.A. Parenteau to make a return. It has been written on EOTP before, that Parenteau has a good track record of being able to boost offense, and right now the Habs desperately need it.
At this point it feels like beating a dead horse to even say it, but the powerplay needs to do something. The difference between winning or losing this series could very well be determined by the special teams performances, and so far the Canadiens have been their usual not-so-great selves in that regard. Meanwhile, Ottawa has been cashing in those chances, so it is crucial at the very least to minimize the opportunities granted to them.
This may be a tad bit cliche to say, but I think what the Canadiens need is a hero to step up. Can the Dale Weise from game three pop back in? Can P.A. Parenteau step into the lineup and do exactly what I believe he can? If Lars Eller were given a few more minutes, would he be able to put a few behind Anderson? I'm not sure who it would or should be, but I do know that the Canadiens would do best to end this series now. They've already given the Sens life, and it is hard to not be fearful of a game seven with the way this series has been going.