Well, that was a frustrating loss. Made more frustrating by the fact that had Ottawa continued the momentum of the first 2 minutes of the game, there could have been a victory. Or if the team had played the first forty minutes as well as the third period, it would have been a different story.
There's no way John Paddock can call out Jason Spezza for his play against Montreal. I don't know why he did, as it likely served no purpose aside from making guys hate him more, and a playmaker like Spezza needs play-finishers to be effective. Tonight, though, he scored a nice goal, got an assist, and finished +1 overall.
The difference was probably special teams, as it so often is. After Chris Kelly scored to give Ottawa and early lead, the two consecutive penalties really took the wind out of the Sens' sails, especially the second one where Andrei Kostitsyn scored to tie the game. The Sens got a little down after that, and a sick passing play ended with Tomas Plekanec giving Montreal a 2-1 lead.
Martin Gerber probably should have had at least one of the two second-period goals, if not both of them. Mark Streit shot a rocket from the blue line that Joe Corvo may have tipped, but it was stoppable. Plekanec' second goal of the game was banked in off The Gerber, because he was cheating in anticipation of a cross-crease pass.
Things picked up in the third, and I wish the whole game was like that. The Sens outshot the Habs 12-4, and both Spezza and Antoine Vermette got Ottawa to within one. Randy Robitaille and Kelly both got stoned by Cristobal Huet, and the Sens ran out of time on the comeback If Ottawa can play like the third period on Saturday, then there's a chance for a victory to restore our lead in the Northeast Division; if Daniel Alfredsson's able to return to the lineup, all the better. Oh yeah, and there's a game against Florida in the meantime, on Thursday night. The only reason I'm not tremendously disappointed is that the Panthers beat the Leafs 8-0 tonight, but the Sens had better watch out if Florida runs with that.
Note about Alfie: A friend saw Alfredsson at the airport on Monday night, and casually said, "So, are you going to be ready to go tomorrow, Daniel?" Alfie said no, but that "He'd get [the Canadiens] on Saturday." So there you go.