OTTAWA – The Senators initiated physical play Sunday night on home ice and responded to the Montreal Canadiens’ over reach on the blatant use of force, especially in the third period.
Daniel Alfredsson had put the Sens up early in the game on a nice goal on a second chance shot that beat Carey Price in the Habs net. For Alfredsson it was his first of the playoffs.
Both first period goals came on the powerplay.
Ottawa came out of the gates hitting everything in a white sweater and the early physical punishment took a toll on the Canadiens both physically and emotionally. AS the game wore on the frustration began to bubble, and then boil then there was absolute trouble on the ice.
The Senators reclaimed the lead at 4:40 of the second when Jean-Gabriel Pageau netted his first of the series. It was the only goal of the period and portended a successful night for Pageau.
But Pageau also lost a tooth on the goal because of a high stick to the face on the shot. The high stick was courtesy of PK Subban of the Habs.
The third is where this match became a celebration for the Senators and an embarrassment for the Canadiens.
The hitting and body contact by the Sens continued and eventually overcame any discipline Montreal had left I the tank.
Slashes, cheap shots, elbows to the head, and finally firing a puck at the opposition after the whistle were just some of the low lights of the third period. Montreal lost its cool, its discipline and descended into a disgraceful display of sportsmanship.
The Senators were not wilting flowers in the period either as they continued their forechecking and physical play that was withering and the frustration mounted.
The highlight of the period was a hat trick from Pageau despite the lost tooth.
At one point in the third period there were five fights on the ice at the same time. For playoff hockey it was a disgrace. In fact, for any level of hockey or season it was a disgrace.
Lost in the hard hitting and frustration was the performance turned in by Craig Anderson in the Ottawa nets. Anderson stopped 33 of 34 shots.
The question going forward is the toll this evening will take on the Canadiens in game four. The Senators were relentless on Sunday in their pressure and contact.
The other question is whether or not any reviews will be conducted in the NHL offices regarding the brutal nature of the contest in the third period.
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