Stellar Anderson can't save Sens

Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. (QMI Agency)

Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. (QMI Agency)

Don Brennan, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:42 PM ET

Was it the Sergei Gonchar push, or did Max Pacioretty throw himself into Craig Anderson with about seven minutes to go in Friday’s Ottawa-Montreal battle at Scotiabank Place?

The crowd sounded evenly divided, which is often the case when these two teams meet in the nation’s capital. Either way, the Senators had to be a little nervous watching Anderson lay on the ice in pain for a few seconds.

Once again, the Ottawa goalie was stellar until the rest of the guys in the nice sweaters showed up in the third period. By then, however, it was too late.

Make the final, Montreal 2, Ottawa 1.

And could somebody also make the Senators show up for a game on time?

You know, just for something different?

STARTS AND STOPS

Before the game, Mike Cammalleri was told that Colin Greening had a “Cammy Celly” — a slow, subtle shake of the fist — after scoring a goal at Scotiabank Place last week. He laughed. “I don’t know if you can call it a Cammy Celly ... I haven’t had much reason to celebrate so far,” he said. Maybe not, with only three goals in nine games, but Cammalleri had a great second-period shift, twice stealing the puck in Ottawa territory before teeing up Erik Cole for the game’s first goal ... Erik Karlsson was clearly anxious to make up for his inexcusable giveaway that helped give Montreal a two-goal lead. Moments after it, he blistered a slap shot that Carey Price kept out with the save of the game. It must be said, however, that Karlsson wasn’t entirely to blame for the turnover. Coach Paul MacLean said it was the forward’s fault for turning the wrong way. The forward was Bobby Butler ... The Senators were benefactors of a weak holding call on Josh Gorges with a minute and a half left. But the power play wasn’t working for them on this night ... After the morning skate, Brian Lee talked about getting a rare chance to play. “Just have to work hard, stick to my game,” he said. “Enjoy it. Not worry about making mistakes. Not going to give you (media) guys much, sorry.” Hours later, he would. Lee was naturally trying to make an impression with the coach. In the first, he went out of position in an attempt to make a big hit, then later threw a blind backhand pass into the slot that could have been a big scoring chance for the visitors if not for a fumble by Montreal’s David Desharnais. Lee, a healthy scratch for nine games this season, settled down as the night went on. In the second period, he almost deposited Travis Moen right on the lap of Habs backup goalie Peter Budaj ... Other big hits by Senators included Chris Neil (go figure) on Gorges and Desharnais, and Chris Phillips with a hard open-ice crunch on Pacioretty.

STUFF I THINK I THUNK

Erik Condra has the body type of a second baseman. He also has the pivot. While killing a first-period penalty, Condra reached up to grab a puck floating through the crease, and in one fluid motion threw it out of the zone. Lucky for him, the Senators didn’t suddenly find themselves down two men ... Took five games after returning from his groin injury, but Butler was once again the scoring threat he is supposed to be.

BETWEEN PERIODS

Stephane Da Costa, Jared Cowen and David Rundblad are checking out. Of the hotel they’ve called home in Ottawa the last two-plus months, that is. The three young players were given the go-ahead by GM Bryan Murray to find places in the nation’s capital. “Means that if we send them down we have to cover their rent or mortgage,” said Murray.

“We’ve provided an opportunity for them to be considered regular players.

“It’s still up to them every day, like every player who can get traded or sent down. But right now, they should be a little relieved. They can move out of the hotel, get a place and get their lives under way. My belief in young players is they shouldn’t get worse. They’re all contributing to this hockey team and I think they’re going to be better in January than they are right now. That’s sort of what I’m telling them.” Da Costa, who had a solid game that included a hit post with four minutes left, was pleased with the news. “There’s nothing to do (living) in the hotel,” he said. “When I’m by myself and without a car, there’s nothing to do.” So when are you getting your licence? “Never,” he said. “No, I’m kidding. I want to, but it takes a year in this country.” Anybody have a scooter for sale? ... Getting four wisdom teeth pulled back in Bingo was no big deal for Kaspars Daugavins. “I didn’t have any pain or swelling,” said the Senators winger. “The recovery was actually pretty quick. I was skating the next day. I’m feeling good.”

CAN YOU SAY HMMM..?

Daniel Alfredsson took a step in the right direction Friday. Then another, and another, and a few more. It’s also known as riding a stationary bike, which was the first form of exercise Alfredsson has had since taking the cheap shot to the head by New York Ranger Wojtek Wolski last Saturday ... By the way, Wolski left Thursday’s game in the first period with what is being called a “groin” injury. Interesting to see if it heals up by the time the Rangers visit Scotiabank Place on Wednesday, or if by then he has a case of the “Ottawa flu.” ... In his first NHL job, Ottawa's Pierre Groulx was the goalie coach for the Florida Panthers and a young Craig Anderson. Groulx now works with Montreal's puckstoppers. "I still talk to him every once in a while," Anderson said Friday. "Obviously, now that we're rivals, I can't give him any of my secrets. He's definitely been a big influence in my career. Without him, it's hard to say where I'd be." Without Anderson, the Senators would have been blown away early Friday night.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

With five days in between games, the Habs had to find ways to amuse themselves. Cammalleri spent his time "training and hanging with the family," while also watching some of the HBO series Oz (1997-2003). "Whoof, first couple of episodes are heavy," was Cammmalleri's review. Plus he tweeted about Montreal restaurants. "Five or six of them," he said. When it was noted that mostly they were Italian places, Cammalleri replied: "Well, I'm a little biased. I grew up with olive oil and sea salt. Put olive oil on anything, and in my book it's good." ... What fast-food place makes the best burger? Five Guys? Harveys? Licks? If you're in the southwest U.S. on holidays this winter, the answer is a simple one, said Da Costa. "In-N-Out (Burger)," the 22-year-old reported. "So good. Best burgers ever. Get the double double." ... Murray has only one concern with Da Costa, Cowen and Rundblad moving into their own places. "I don't know if anybody can cook," he said, maybe half-kidding. "That's the only problem."


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