The fact that the Ottawa Senators made the playoffs at all was an incredible feat. It seems somehow appropriate that their unlikely run has been pushed to the edge of collapse under equally surprising circumstances.
While Montreal was the heavy favorite going into this series, tonight it wasn’t one of the Canadiens’ top-tier players that was the hero. It was 26-year-old Dale Weise, who scored both Montreal goals in its 2-1 overtime win Sunday night.
After dropping the first two contests, Ottawa bench boss Dave Cameron rolled the dice by starting goaltender Craig Anderson over Andrew Hammond. While Anderson had the clear edge when it came to experience, he hadn’t played since March 29 and last won on March 8. Still, for most of the contest it looked like the adjustment would pay off as Anderson stood tall. Given that he stopped 47 of 49 shots, it’s hard to peg this loss on him.
Still, Weise managed to beat him late in the third and the game-winning marker looked like one he could have and perhaps should have stopped:
Weise had just 23 goals in 258 career regular season games and another three markers in 24 playoff contests going into tonight’s action.
With that, Ottawa is now down 3-0 in the series. Against Montreal and goaltender Carey Price, the odds of the Senators battling back are remote. Then again, one could argue that the Senators were in a similar position during the regular season. They defied the odds then. Perhaps they can do so again.