The Senators were in town Friday night for the first preseason home game for the Montreal Canadiens. Afterwards, both teams left for the Scotia Bank Place on Saturday.
Game one was a one-way conversation. Sergei Kostitsyn, Andrei Markov, and Andrei Kostitsyn all scored on a power play. Youngsters Matt D'Agostini and Yannick Weber scored two other goals, making it 5-0 Canadiens.
Ottawa might not have filled the score sheet, but they did fill the Montreal players’ arms: Cody Bass and Tom Kostopoulos, Alex Henry and Chris Neil, Alex Henry and Brad Isbister, rookie P.K. Subban and Zach Smith.
A.Kostitsyn - Plekanec - Kovalev
Pacioretty - Maxwell - S.Kostitsyn
Stewart - Desharnais - D'Agostini
Begin - Lapierre - Kostopoulos
Markov - O'Byrne
Georges - Subban
Henry - Weber
Jaroslav Halak stopped all 21 shots to earn his first win this fake-season.
Notes from a side and postgame thoughts
Tomas Plekanec said, in his postgame interview, that it felt nice to be back with AK-27 and AK-46 again. Luckily for Lang, Latendresse has improved during the summer!
Jaroslav Halak's night wasn't that busy, but eh, a shutout is a shutout! Sensing some pressure on Carey Price there, maybe? I know, Price remains your favorite. What was I thinking?
The kids line (Stewart - Desharnais - D'Agostini) worked hard and made a good impression on the coach. The principle is simple: If you don't get a spot in Montreal, do your best to top the list in Hamilton for any possible recall in the season.
Tom Kostopoulos's fight wasn't much against Bass, as it was against his own teammates. The competition is fierce, as Dandenault and Begin are two others veterans trying to get a spot.
Andrei Markov now has four points in two preseason games, plus a shootout-wining goal against Detroit. Ouh, impressive.
Alex Henry had two fights in one night, plus one in his first preseason game, in Halifax. Another tough guy—like Laraque, Kostopoulos, Begin...
50,000 pounds, 25-feet high, and 40-feet wide, five times the size of the former one, and in high definition. That is what the Canadiens’ self-offered birthday gift look like: a giant new central scoreboard.
The Habs have a new goal song. No more U2. It's now Simple Plan. The song title: "Go Habs Go." If anyone has any idea on how and where to get it, it would be greatly appreciated.
Andrei Kostitsyn: four shots on goal.
Andrei Markov and Josh Georges led the time on ice, with respectively 23:38 and 22:08.
David Desharnais won five face-offs out of eight.
Game two on Saturday night was Ottawa’s chance to fight back. And they did so, for their last preseason game in North America before leaving to Europe.
Pacciorety – Lang – Beauregard
G.Latendresse – Lehoux – S. Kostitsyn
O.Latendresse – Chipchura – Dandenault
Russel – White – Glumac
Bouillon – Komisarek
Gorges – Anderson
Valentenko – Bell
Chipchura was the only one to score for Montreal, while Nick Foligno, Daniel Alfredsson, and Chris Neil made the honour roll for the Sens.
Marc Denis started the first two periods, allowing three goals in 18 Senators’ attempts, before leaving his spot to Cedrick Desjardins, who stopped all nine shots directed to him.
Notes from a side and postgame thoughts
Nice to hear from Kyle Chipchura again. Although Lapierre currently holds the spot in the fourth line, it always comes back to the same principle: just stick to the principle.
Marc Denis said, at the start of the camp, “This is the Montreal Canadiens’ training camp, and not the Hamilton’s,” when asked about his expectations to find a job in Montreal. After Halak's shutout the night before, it wasn't really Danis’ night to grab that backup spot!
And nope, you weren’t dreaming. Both of the Latendresse brothers were on the ice. They even worked together on a power-play unit. That is another way to say that the Montreal Canadiens are one big family. Mikko Koivu would look nice in a red-blue and white jersey, wouldn't he?
Kyle Chipchura won nice face-offs out of 15.
Francis Bouillon had a busy night, with eight hits .
Max Pacioretty led the time on ice, for the forwards, with 17:57.
Next game is Sunday, Sept. 28, at the Bell Center, against the Florida Panthers. As judged by tonight’s goalie plans, Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak should share the duty. Feels like the old days again!
Picture: Alex Henry / Yahoo Sports.