(7) Ottawa Senators (3-1) at (2) Montreal Canadiens (1-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will try to finish off the second-
seeded Montreal Canadiens when they visit the Habs on Thursday for Game 5
of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
The seventh-seeded Senators enter Game 5 with a 3-1 edge in the series. Ottawa
earned a split at Montreal's Bell Centre to begin the best-of-seven set before
taking the last two meetings on home ice. The Sens then used a late comeback
to force overtime in Game 4 and won it in the extra session on a fluky goal by
After destroying the Canadiens, 6-1, in a fight-filled Game 3, the Senators
won a much more subdued contest between the Northeast Division foes on
Although the Game 4 contest was short on penalty minutes, it was long on
drama. Montreal entered the third period with a 2-0 lead after scoring twice
in the span of 62 seconds early in the second. However, Mika Zibanejad cut the
deficit to 2-1 with 8:05 remaining in the third and Cory Conacher tied it with
just 23 seconds left, setting up Turris' OT game-winner.
On the winning play, Turris was harassed by a Canadiens defender in the left
circle, but the Sens forward escaped long enough to send a wrister to the
Habs' net, which deflected off the elbow of defenseman Raphael Diaz and
caromed past Peter Budaj -- who began the extra session in place of the
injured Carey Price -- to end the contest.
"I thought both teams played hard and played hockey. They were better than us
for awhile, we were better than them for awhile," offered Senators head coach
Craig Anderson stopped 26 shots for Ottawa, which can advance to the second
round for the first time since 2007 with one more victory. The Senators have
been bounced out in the first round in three straight trips to the playoffs
since making a run to the Stanley Cup Finals in '07.
PK Subban and Alex Galchenyuk lit the lamp early in the second period for the
Canadiens. Price ended up with 30 saves, but Budaj was saddled with the loss.
Meanwhile, it was announced Thursday morning that Price will miss the
remainder of this series after suffering an unspecified lower-body injury
while stopping the last shot of regulation.
Budaj has seen action in five career playoff games, but this will be his first
The injuries are beginning to mount for Montreal, as it was announced
Wednesday that captain Brian Gionta needs to undergo season-ending surgery on
his left biceps muscle. On top of losing the captain for the rest of the
playoffs, forwards Brandon Prust, Ryan White and Lars Eller were already
scheduled to miss Thursday's game with various upper-body injuries.
In addition to injuries, the Habs also may have been the victim of a bad
replay decision in the third period on Thursday. After Zibanejad redirected a
Chris Neil pass from the right-wing boards into the net with his skate, the
league looked at the goal. Despite overhead replays which seemed to reveal the
puck being directed in with a distinct kicking motion, the goal was allowed to
"It was a kicking motion, there's nothing you can do about it, it's a league
decision," said Habs head coach Michel Therrien.
The Canadiens will try to stave off elimination tonight on home ice, where
they were 14-7-3 as the host during the regular season.
Ottawa, which has never squandered a 3-1 series edge in its modern history,
was 10-11-3 on the road this season.
If necessary, Game 6 of this series is scheduled for Saturday in Ottawa.