Friday, 24 April 2015

Sens put fear into the Habs

The Ottawa Senators accomplished something small but significant on Friday night at the Bell Centre.

They shifted "the pressure" to the Montreal Canadiens.

"When we were facing elimination the pressure was on us," said Senators' coach Dave Cameron. "Each day you win to play another day, the pressure shifts to Montreal."

Well mission accomplished.

Playing game six at the Canadian Tire Centre was the last thing the Canadiens wanted to do. And if they can't put the Senators away in that one, the weight of the world will be on their shoulders to win game seven at home.

Much like their late push this season, a lot of things seem to be falling in place at precisely the right time for the Senators.

Bobby Ryan had been criticized heavily for his play through the first four games of the series. He showed up in game five scoring twice and seemed relieved to have contributed.

"Obviously it's a not secret I've been pressing, I was very frustrated with myself as well as everyone around me so it's a relief, hopefully a step forward and you hope they continue to roll," said Ryan post game.

Andrew Hammond let in some soft goals through the first two games of the series. In steps Craig Anderson and he looks like he did two years ago when these two teams last met in the playoffs. Anderson has stopped 120 shots of the 123 that he's faced.

"I'm just trying to find the puck as much as I can, the guys in front of me are doing a good job of letting the guys have one shot," said Anderson. "Right now I'm getting a little lucky."

The formula has worked for the Senators. Dig yourself a hole and climb out of it in improbable fashion when everyone has counted you out of it. It has worked in the past, so why not believe it could happen again?

"We've had that quiet confidence for the better part of two months now," said Ryan. "There's just a belief that we're going to come out and be successful."

What happens in Game Six will say a lot about the Montreal Canadiens. They have showed resolve in the past and can be just as resilient as the "pesky Sens." Ottawa has dealt admirably with the pressure of being down 3-0, we'll see how the Canadiens handle the pressure of potentially being one of the few teams in sports history to surrender a 3-0 series lead.

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