LIVE BLOG: Habs @ Sens, Hockey Day in Canada!

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Going to do something different today, and try doing a live blog during today's afternoon game in Ottawa, which is, of course, a part of CBC's Hockey Day in Canada festivities. So keep yourself logged in to TCL starting at 2PM for updates from the game as they happen! And if you haven't done so yet, register and share you thoughts as the game progresses!

Refresh to see updates!Full game comments will follow shortly after the game!

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OVERTIME:

4:44PM: And just like that it's over. Fisher scores after a nifty 2-line pass from Karlson and on a play where he doesn't give up. Not a surprising result, ends 3-2 Sens in OT. Stay tuned for some post-game thoughts.

4:43PM: Spezza goes to the box for pushing Hamrlik's stick away from him while he was trying to pick it up. Dumb move by Spezza and we get 3 on 3 play with less than 2 minutes to go.

4:39PM: Tripping penalty as Spezza dangles around 4 Habs all across the ice and gets hauled down in front of the net. Should have been a penalty shot but instead Gill goes to the box. with 2:46 left in OT.

4:37PM: 4 on 4 play begins, and, of course, even with more space on the ice the Canadiens can't carry the play. Big chance by the sens at the 4 minute mark but they keep going. Pouliot is the only Hab out there making an effort, other than Gionta.

4:36PM: At least we get a point.





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THIRD PERIOD:

4:35PM: Exciting end to the 3rd as the sens almost score on a 2 on 1 rush. Pouliot makes a nice play on the other side of the ice but it's still 2-2 at the end of the 3rd and we're going to overtime with 2 goals on each side.

4:33PM: Gionta's 14th from Markov and Plekanec is the official call. Plekanec now has 2 assists on the game for a total of 41 assists on the season and 54 points. Markov's assist is his 14th, which is crazy when you consider how many games he's missed. Just under a minute left to go in the regulation and it looks like this one is going to OT.

4:29PM: GIONTA SCORES! Dandy pass from Markov in front of the net to Gionta, wide open net for the sniper. All tied up 2-2 with 3 minutes to go in regulation. Shots are 32-28 Sens.

4:26PM: lots of bad hits going on now as Foligno left the ice as well. A Canadiens powerplay is coming as Kelly goes off for a high sticking penalty. Habs get a chance to tie it up with 4 minutes left, but they'll have to do it without their best goal scorer.

4:24PM: Replay of the Cammy hit... looks like his ankle got twisted and plastered into the boards. Didn't put any weight on his leg as he was going to the room. If Cammy is hurt bad, I might start blogging for the Hawks.

4:21PM: Cammalleri and Volchenkov collide in the Senators' zone and both look hurt... Cammy isn't putting any weight on his leg... scary moment for Habs fans as he's going to the dressing room..........

4:20PM: Game's back on and the Sens go back to controlling the play..

4:17PM: Big hit by Pouliot on Karlson that takes the glass on the boards out of its place. Crew's out for repairs so it might be a little while.

4:15PM: It's now been 205 minutes since the Canadiens last scored an even strength goal. A stat that can get very ridiculous very quickly.

4:13PM: Cammy getting the best chances this period. He looks like the only white jersey out there that even cares. Game picking up with just under half the period left to go.

4:10PM: Habs successfully kill off the penalty to stay in the same with 11 minutes to go in the game.

4:08PM: Actually pretty exciting sequence of hockey during the PP. Gionta gets a great scoring chance shorthanded on one side of the net, Kovy runs the play on the other side and the Sens get a few chances of their own before Halak covers it up with 45 seconds to go in Hamrlik's penalty.

4:06PM: Both the Habs and the Sens have converted on their only powerplays of the game so far. Will the trend continue with Hamrlik in the box?

4:05PM: Hamrlik to the box for holding as the Sens get their second powerplay of the game at 6:09 of the third.

4:01PM: Not much happening 3 minutes in, end-to-end hockey but not many chances. Only one shot a side in the 3rd.

3:55PM: Getting ready for the third. Not expecting anything different from the first 40 minutes, but at least the Habs are only one goal behind. At least that's what I keep telling myself....





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SECOND PERIOD:

3:40PM: Last updated as the somewhat-more eventful 2nd period comes to an end. Shots are once again even at 23 a piece, but not indicative of the direction of the game. The Canadiens are lucky to be just one goal behind, and it has nothing to do with the goalies. Back in 15, but I will respond to your comments in the meantime.

3:37PM: 2nd almost done and the sens are once again all over the Habs.

3:35PM: Crowd getting into it now, looks like it's split between Habs and Sens fans. Kovalev still getting booed as he handles the puck.

3:32PM: Habs score! Pouliot gets his 11th in less than 20 games as a hab, if you can believe it. Calls for the puck for Plekanec and doesn't miss while standing right in front of the net. Second assist goes to Cammalleri at 15:17 of the second on the PP.

3:30PM: Moen draws a penalty on Carkner, Montreal's 2nd ranked PP will go to work for the first time in the game.

3:28PM: Goal is Spezza's 9th at 11:37 from Kuba and Kovalev on the PP. That makes it 2 assists for Kuba and 2 points for Kovy who has the goal that stands as the game winner through 34 minutes of play.

3:26PM: Nevermind... Spezza scored, 2-0 sens, this game is all but over. Looks like the traffic re-directed the puck, nevertheless, powerplay goal for the center.

3:25PM: Sens get the first PK of the game, this might be a key moment. If the Habs can kill this they might be able to take momentum into the rest of the game. If the Sens score it's over. (habs clear the puck with 1:30 to go in Gill's penalty).

3:23PM: Sens look like they're on a powerplay... they finally get one as Gill is going to the box for high sticking with 9 to go in the second.

3:20PM: Fisher picking up the pace now. Great shift by the center that creates multiple chances for the sens. With 11 minutes left in the period nothing's really changed in terms of the score or shots. Halfway through the game and neither team has had a powerplay. (as I type this Bergeron gets a good shot off for the Habs and a scrum ensues in front of the Sens net).

3:15PM: Not much else to report. Habs go up a few shots, Sens come back to tie things up. 17-15 in favor of the Habs at the moment, but you have to think that Elliott has still had the easier night so far. A little less than 14 minutes to go in the second as CBC goes to a break.

3:11PM: 4 minutes down in the second and not much going on, but the Sens, again, are getting most of the time with the puck. The Habs continue to cough up the puck, and you have to think they're going to continue to chase the Sens for the rest of the game the way things are going.

3:08PM: Darche gets the first good chance of the period on a 2 on 1 ish rush with Brian Gionta.

3:05PM: We're back for second period action as the puck drops in Kanata. Hopefully the Habs can get something going...





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FIRST PERIOD:

2:47PM 4 on 4 hockey closes out the period but neither team can get anything else done. Hopefully the Habs can come out with more energy in the 2nd and get tie things up. Shots are 11-11, but Ottawa has most of the chances, converting on one to take a 1-0 lead to the dressing room.

2:44PM Uh oh, first scrum of the game. Plekanec and Spezza pushing and shoving after O'Byrne just pastes Michalek on open ice. Looks like O'Byrne is getting charging, Michalek somehow gets a penalty too...

2:39PM Surprise surprise, Kovalev scores his 14th of the season on his 3rd shot of the game to put the Sens up 1-0. Believe it or not, it was a garbage goal, with Kovy standing at the lip of the crease. Karlson and Kuba with the assists and the Canadiens have to play catch-up already.

2:35PM Markov makes a nice effort to break up a rush pass, and the Habs pick up a few chances themselves, but this game is still mostly sens. With 6:30 to go in the 1st the shots are 10-6 Sens.

2:32PM I don't understand this team. Looking at the CBS game tracker, the Sens offense seems organized and all coming from the slot. The Habs offense is eratic... shots from the point, in the slot, from the faceoff circle. This group is not playing as a team and you can tell. Sens are much more likely to get a goal soon the way things are going.

2:30PM The first period is nearly half over, the shots are 4-4 and nothing's really happened yet other than a few chances for the Sens. You can feel something coming though, one of these teams should score soon.

2:25PM Habs can't get anything going. What else is new... Net is off and we have our first commercial break.

2:22PM Kovy getting some boos, but it isn't slowing the Sens down.

2:20PM Sens all over the Habs now, but Cammy and Pleks take it the other way. Good chances for both teams as we get out second stoppage.

2:19PM Other than those two chances the game seems to be caught in the neutral zone for the most part. Lots of turnovers on both sides, teams feeling each other out.

2:17PMAnd we're off! First whistle has come and gone and the Sens have already had 2 good chances to score. Not starting off well for the Habs. Offside for the Habs.

2:15PM: Just an anthem away from puck drop. They've got the huge Canada flag going in the crowd, looks pretty awesome.





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PREGAME THOUGHTS:

2PM: Elliott getting the start for the Sens. Gotta wonder why the Sens spent money and assets on Leclaire, this kid seems like the real deal.

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1:55PM: One other game underway... the Flyers are leading the Isles 2-0 in the 1st intermission. As a Habs fan I don't know how I feel about the score, but it might be better for the Flyers to run away with the 6th spot than for the Isles to tighten up.

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1:50PM: RDS showing highlights of the Habs visiting hospitals. Metro, Gomez and Laraque (before he was fired obviously) all visiting children together. Looks like a scene out of Oz more than a visit to a hospital.

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Anyone find it curious that the Hockey Day in Canada game between the Habs and the Sens is always in Ottawa? I know they've developed a tradition by doing it there, and frankly, it's better for the NHL to have it there, since the Sens need it more than the Habs, but it would be interesting to see what the Canadiens could do with it in Downtown Montreal... just a thought...

It's a bitter, cold, day here in Montreal, and while many would like those same adjectives to apply to this blog, it's going to be a little more tame going into today's tilt. The Habs have lost their last two games in an embarrassing fashion, losing 3-1 to the Panthers and 3-0 to the Bolts, and not showing up in either game, so logic would dictate a strong performance in Ottawa after a tongue lashing from both the media and the coaching staff.

With the Sens looking to break their franchise record for consecutive wins, the odds of a Canadiens victory might actually increase, as the pressure will be on for both the Sens and the Habs. With Kovalev and his troupe upping their game lately, and with the Canadiens being as inconsistent as ever, the storyline has been set for an exciting game in Ottawa today, starting at 2PM.

Jaroslav Halak gets the start in goal today, which raises an interesting discussion considering how much people like to quote the stat that Halak never gets a start after a loss. The same hasn't seemed to apply to Price either this season, but nevertheless, you can't really argue the choice. Simply put, the Canadiens need to win games, and Jaro Halak will give them their best shot today.

The other line-up note is that Yannick Weber was called up late yesterday, with both Paul Mara and Jaroslav Spacek out with upper body injuries. He'll suit up with Hal Gill, with Marc-Andre Bergeron remaining on the 4th line and Roman Hamrlik pairing up with Ryan O'Byrne.

Here are the lines, as reported on CKAC sports:

Michael Cammalleri - Tomas Plekanec - Sergei Kostitsyn
Benoit Pouliot - Scott Gomez - Brian Gionta
Travis Moen - Glen Metropolit - Maxim Lapierre
Mathieu Darche - Ben Maxwell - Marc-André Bergeron

Yannick Weber - Hal Gill
Josh Gorges - Andrei Markov
Roman Hamrlik - Ryan O'Byrne
Devant le filet
Jaroslav Halak

Check back in a bit for more updates! They will appear at the top of the blog during the game.

Prax
www.thecheckingline.com
www.twitter.com/thecheckingline

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