Montreal vs Ottawa Tied: Game 3 Preview 2015 NHL Stanley Cup

Montreal vs Ottawa Tied: Game 3 Preview 2015 NHL Stanley Cup

senators beat montreal canadians 2015 nhl stanley cup playoffs

The Montreal Canadiens, playing in the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, may not have beaten the Ottawa Senators by much in either game one or game two of their first round series however the Habs are still in firm control.

Montreal, playing from home, opened the series on Wednesday night with a 4-3 victory. The Canadiens then followed suit with an overtime win in game two over the Sens. On Sunday the series shifts to Ontario where the Canadiens will be looking to sweep, while the Sens will be looking to give themselves a chance to get back in the series.

Mark Stone, a right-winger for Ottawa, has been central to much of the news in the series. P.K. Subban aggressively slashed Stone in game one, an act that both injured Stone and caused many to speculate that the Ottawa forward would not be available for game two. However Stone was not just available on Friday night but rather he factored into both of Ottawa’s goals as he tallied two assists on the night.

While the slash, and the drama it caused, dominated much of the previewing for game two for the most part it appears to be history now. That said, in a matter of days Ottawa’s 2014/15 season could be history as well.

Arguably in order for Ottawa to get back into the series they will need to slow down the Montreal offense. The Habs have scored seven goals in two games, an impressive total at a time of year when defenses are usually quite stingy.

andrew hammond fights for senators in 2015 nhl stanley cup playoffs

Andrew Hammond, Ottawa’s goalkeeper, faced 42 shots in game two, a total that was eleven shots higher than what his Montreal counterpart faced. Even against a goaltender that’s playing well, that kind of peppering will usually lead to at least a few goals and Ottawa, playing at home in game three, will need to batten down the hatches on defense if they hope to get back into the series.

On that note Dave Cameron, the coach of the Senators, has indicated that he’s not yet decisive on who will be in net for Ottawa. Craig Anderson is a viable option although the once regular starter has not seen much ice-time in recent months due to injury.

While Anderson is a more than capable netminder Cameron, in considering substituting for Hammond, may be guilty of making changes with his fingers crossed.

It’s not entirely clear if Anderson would be much better than Hammond, keeping in mind that Anderson’s save percentage in 35 regular season games was 92.3%. That’s right on par with what Hammond posted in game two, suggesting that the problem is not goalkeeping but defense in general. What the Sens need to do is curb the number of shots that Hammond needs to save while putting more pressure on Carey Price.

montreal canadians beat senators game one 2015 nhl stanley cup

While that’s definitely easier said than done, it is a position that Kyle Turris of the Senators appears to agree with. Commenting on Hammond, the forward stated that the Sens had “to do better in front of (Hammond) and help him out.”

Game three goes at 7pm ET on Sunday with game four to follow on Wednesday night.

Cameron, with his talk of changing goalies, doesn’t appear to be on the right track and that doesn’t bode well for Ottawa’s chances. However playing “better” isn’t as simple as turning a light switch on either so Ottawa’s best hope may be in them finding some inspiration in playing in front of their home crowd.

Click to add a comment

Shane is a sports writer with a big interest in tennis, but he's also a noted writer about travel and fiction. Plus he can handle long walks in the cold Canadian tundra!

More in Hockey

toronto maple leafs burn the boston bruins 4 1 2016 images

Toronto Maple Leafs burn the Boston Bruins 4-1

Shane LambertOctober 16, 2016
NHL Preseason Rankings Ignore Montreal Canadiens Carey Price 2016 images

NHL Preseason Rankings Ignore Montreal Canadiens Carey Price

Shane LambertOctober 12, 2016
edmonton oilers preview not just all about connor mcdavid 2016 images

Edmonton Oilers Preview: It’s not all about Connor McDavid

Shane LambertOctober 4, 2016
team canada easy favorites to beat team europe 2016 images

Team Canada easy favorites to beat Team Europe

Shane LambertSeptember 27, 2016
phil kessels team usa snubbing no big deal 2016 images

Phil Kessel’s Team USA snubbing no big deal

Shane LambertSeptember 22, 2016
2016 2017 nhl preview pittsburgh penguins favored hockey images

2016-2017 NHL Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins Favored

Shane LambertSeptember 17, 2016
gary sanchez vs connor mcdavid rookie of the year debate comparisons 2016 images

Gary Sanchez vs Connor McDavid Rookie of the Year debate comparisons

Shane LambertSeptember 15, 2016
2016 World Cup of Hockey gimmicks to attract American viewers images

2016 World Cup of Hockey gimmicks to attract American viewers

Shane LambertSeptember 8, 2016
Tampa Bay Lightning keep Alex Killorn for seven more years at $31 million 2016 images

Tampa Bay Lightning keep Alex Killorn for seven more years at $31 million

Jackie WarnerJuly 19, 2016

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription