Redden left seeing red

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:55 PM ET

MONTREAL -- Canadiens 4, Senators 1

Wade Redden summed it up nicely:

"I saw a lot of red," said the Senators defenceman of being the "1" in the always-rare 6-on-1 rush the Canadiens fashioned in the first period yesterday at the Bell Centre.

"But I didn't really count."

Canadiens captain Saku Koivu ended up scoring on the play 93 seconds into the game, the first goal in what turned out to be a 4-1 win by the Habs on Hockey Day in Canada.

It's not easy giving up a 6-on-1, but that's the way things are going for the Senators these days.

It started with everybody but Redden and Senators goaltender Ray Emery jumping up for a loose puck at the Habs net, including Senators defenceman Anton Volchenkov, who ran into centre Bryan Smolinski.

The puck started up the ice leaving all those Senators like scattered bowling pins in its wake. Habs forward Chris Higgins, having broken his stick, went to the Montreal bench for a new twig. He got one and winger Andrei Kastsitsyn jumped on to take Higgins' place, too.

They all converged on Redden and Emery. Faced with way too many options, Koivu ended up just keeping the puck himself and roofing a backhander by Emery.

"Supposedly nobody saw it," said Senators coach Bryan Murray of the Habs' prison break. "But they (all the Habs) were within 10 or 15 feet of our net when the goal went in."

Instead of the Senators going on the power play, they were down 1-0.

"It was a missed call," said Redden. "We should have been on the power play instead of down one. But that said, it was two minutes into the game and we shouldn't have let that affect us."

Hear and There:

Former Maple Leafs coach Pat Burns once said he wouldn't recognize Bill Berg if he ran over him with his truck after the Leafs had picked up the forward in a trade. I would certainly recognize Redden if I ran over him with my car, which, by the way, almost happened yesterday. Redden was crossing the street in front of the Bell Centre when I was pulling in for the game a little before noon ... The Senators needed F Vaclav Varada to be more of a pest and he was that yesterday. He flattened Montreal's Alexei Kovalev in front of the Habs bench in the first, but Kovalev got him back later. He hit Varada almost in the same spot (twice) and sent the Ottawa winger to the dressing room.Varada came back in the second period.

The Buzz:

A nice touch in honour of Hockey Day in Canada was having Senators D Chris Phillips, along with his toddlers, Ben and Zoe, take the opening faceoff with Montreal's Mike Ribiero, who had his dad and son there...Forget Hockey Day in Canada. It was "First Goal In A Long Time Day" for Habs C Radek Bonk and D Mathieu Dandenault and Ottawa W Steve Martins. Both Bonk and Dandenault got their first in red, white and blue. Bonk's was his first in almost two years (Feb. 3, 2004), a span of 44 games, and Dandenault his first since Feb. 18, 2004 (46 games). "I'm relieved," said Bonk, "but I'm more relieved to get the win." Martins' was his first NHL goal since Nov. 6, 2003.

Speculations:

Not sure what size skates Montreal D Sheldon Souray wears, but they looked like size 44's. He used his right skate to twice block Ottawa clearing attempts during a Montreal power play in the first. The Habs wound up scoring their second goal as the Senators never got out of their zone. Montreal scored with 18 seconds left in Phillips' interference penalty.

Revelations:

Some quick editing by the game-day staff at the Bell Centre: They had tape of Team Canada's win at the world junior championship to accompany the national anthem yesterday ... After not scoring for so long, a guy would probably want to savour seeing his first "G" in a long time. Dandenault, who was pushed into the net by Ottawa rookie Patrick Eaves, was credited with his goal only after the first period. "I had no clue," said Dandenault. "I just went to the net to get a rebound and the next thing I knew I was in the air and the puck was in the net."

Just Wondering:

Phillips has been the victim of some marginal calls lately, but he got away with one yesterday. After a beautiful rink-long rush, he bowled over Huet from behind. No call, though it happened right in front of veteran zebra Bill McCreary. Not that Phillips had anywhere else to go on the play ... Bonk was a nice 11-5 in the faceoff circle for Montreal yesterday (including the draw leading to his goal). How come it seemed like he couldn't win a draw to save his life for Ottawa?

SOME THINGS WORTH NOTING...

FEATHERWEIGHTS: It wasn't exactly Rob Blake against Todd Bertuzzi, but Senators F Steve Martins (5-foot-9) showed some great determination to fight off Montreal D Francis Bouillon (5-foot-8) to score his first goal of the season, jabbing at the puck until he got it behind Cristobal Huet. The play was started on a great 100-foot pass by Senators D Brian Pothier, who had a good game ... Bouillon's not big, but he makes the most of what he's got. He led all players with eight hits yesterday.

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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