Pageau gets the trick as Sens pound Habs
It all came down to the Local Hero.
Home is indeed where the heart is for the Senators and they served notice to the Montreal Canadiens as the Hwy. 417 Series escalated into all-out war with a wild 6-1 victory in Game 3 at Scotiabank Place in front 20,249 Sunday night.
While Gatineau’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau led the charge with a hat trick, captain Daniel Alfredsson chipped in with a three-point night while Jakob Silfverberg and Kyle Turris also scored. Goaltender Craig Anderson was solid in the net.
After getting dominated physically in a 3-1 loss in Game 2 Friday, the Senators fought back by playing physical and dropping the gloves. Only Rene Bourque was able to beat Anderson and Carey Price was hung out to dry.
The bad blood boiled over with 12:56 left when Ryan White hacked Zack Smith. All 10 players on the ice squared off with Jared Cowen making White pay the price. Matt Kassian and Smith were also involved as Ottawa sent a message.
The Senators told the Habs they won’t be pushed around.
“We knew we had to prove something. We weren’t happy with the way we played and they took it to us with the physicality,” said Neil. “We came out ready to play, we came hard, we had great hits. Everyone finishing checks. What it takes to win.
“I saw Smitty lying on the ice. (Cowen) got to him before I did. Emotions were flying high out there. We stood our ground and did what we had to do.”
By the third, the fans were yelling “Pageau, Pageau, Pageau” and chiding an inconsistent Price. The Habs — especially defenceman P.K. Subban — came unglued and the Senators frustrated them to the point they cruised to victory.
Habs’ coach Michel Therrien was incensed and called a timeout with 17 seconds left “classless.”
“Let the players decide on the ice,” said Therrien. “I always believe in that. I don’t like when a coach makes comments, I don’t like a coach trying to humiliate our team. I don’t like that.”
MacLean scoffed at those remarks.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen next,” said MacLean. “My only recourse was to take the timeout because I didn’t want anyone to get hurt. It was already getting dumb enough as it was. I’ve still got games to play. We’re not giving them a freebie, there’s already enough of that.”
The Senators were so shorthanded by the end captain Daniel Alfredsson had to take a couple of shifts as a defenceman.
“I liked seeing Alfie back there. He’s a complete player and skates backwards really, really well,” said Anderson. “He’s one of those guys you trust with the puck and you want on the ice.”
The Senators were clinging to a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes on the strength of Pageau’s first playoff goal. It came when Sergei Gonchar threaded a perfect pass through the middle and Pageau fired a bullet by Price high on the glove side at 4:40.
The celebration was odd. As Pageau’s teammates gathered around him near the glass, he was trying to find a tooth he lost when P.K. Subban high-sticked him only moments after firing the shot by Price. Pageau picked it up and gave it to the bench.
“It was really special. I just want to enjoy it,” said Pageau. “I only lost one tooth. I wish I could lose another one if we could win the next game.”
The Senators finished the night without defenceman Patrick Wiercioch as well. Making his playoff debut, he saw only two shifts and left limping to the dressing room in the first.
It didn’t matter, Pageau and the Senators took a big bite out of the Habs.