The Ottawa Senators are just one win away from entering the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tonight they return to the Bell Centre in Montreal for Game 5 with a 3-1 series lead over their Northeast Division rivals the Montreal Canadiens.
You gotta give the Pesky Sens credit. They battled through major injuries all season just to get into the playoffs. They have found ways to win all series long even through long stretches of Montreal dominance. The Sens are playing winning hockey right now. Tonight, they can become the second team in these playoffs to advance to the second round, something they failed to do last year when they lost to the New York Rangers in seven.
The Habs Won’t Go Down Without A Fight.
The Montreal Canadiens are not happy being in the hole they’ve dug themselves into and they’ll do everything in their power to claw their way out of it tonight in front of the home crowd. The Canadiens have lost their composure too many times in the first four games of this series. They have made too many excuses about the games they’ve lost and wasted their breathe insulting Sens head coach Paul MacLean. If they just show up and play smart hockey utilizing their speed game they can comeback and make this close if not win it. The antics need to stop though, because they aren’t working.
Carey Price Is Out For The Rest Of The Series.
Bad news for the Habs rolled in on Thursday, May 9. Franchise goaltender Carey Price is out for the rest of the Habs series with the Senators. With Price out of the lineup Montreal will turn to backup goalie Peter Budaj for Game 5 tonight. Budaj had good numbers this season for the Canadiens. In 13 games Budaj went 8-1-1 posting a save percentage of (.908). Playoffs are a different animal though. Budaj will have to play the best hockey of his career for the Habs to comeback. It’s a tough break for Price and the Habs but a great opportunity for Budaj to prove himself. Heroes are often born in the playoffs and it wouldn’t be the first time a Montreal Canadiens goaltender was one of those heroes.
Can Sens Close This Out Quickly?
They say the fourth win is the hardest one to get. The Sens are about to find out exactly what that statement means. The Habs will be desperate tonight. They’ll be laying it all on the line to win the game and stay alive. It’ll take a huge effort from the Sens to walk into Montreal and end the Habs’ season. Especially when the Sens know in the backs of their minds that they now have the comfort of three chances to end this series. The biggest mistake the Sens could make is to give the Habs some life with a win tonight. Ottawa will need their best performance of the series if they want to close this thing out and get some rest before the next round starts.