Habs lose 6-2: Hickey’s game story

AUDIO: Carey Price | Jaro Spacek | Jacques Martin English and French

Goaltender Carey Price suffered a meltdown late in the second period and the Ottawa Senators rallied to beat the Canadiens, 6-2.

Price was having a good night until he surrendered a suspect goal to Jason Spezza at 15:33 of the second period. Price failed to seal off the post when Spezza launched a shot along the goalline. The puck struck Price’s leg and went in on the short side.

That tied the game at 2-2 and the Senators would add two more goals before the period was over.

The Canadiens missed a chance to regain the lead at 16:02 when Ben Maxwell was awarded a penalty shot after he was tripped up by Matt Carkner but Ottawa goaltender Brian Elliott made the save.

Nick Foligno managed to get behind the Canadiens’ defence to beat Price on a power play at 18:32 to break the deadlock and Bobby Butler scored on a penalty shot at 19:25. He was given a chance for the freebie after he was run down from behind by Josh Gorges.

Price, who is being counted on to be the Canadiens’ No. 1 goaltender in the coming season, gave up another goal to Spezza midway the third period while Foligno scorerd his second at 17:11 after turning Jaroslav Spacek inside out.  Price allowed six goals on  30 shots last night and has surrendered 10 goals on 39 shots in his two preseason appearances. That translates into a 6.67  goals-against average with a save percentage of .743. Those are not good numbers. 

The Canadiens had taken a 2-1 lead at 2:55 of the second period when Tomas Plekanec took a pass from Benoit Pouliot  and beat Spezza to the other end of the ice where he beat Brian Elliott.  The Senators missed an opportunity to match that goal two minutes when Price left a rebound during a Senators power play but Gorges lent a helping hand and stopped a shot by Spezza.

The Canadiens squandered some power-play opportunities in the period. They went 0-for-4, including a 5-on-3 advantage for two minutes.

The teams exchanged power-play goals in the first period.

The Canadiens struck first when Maxwell beat  Elliott with a shot off the rush from inside the left faceoff circle at 1:54. The Canadiens came up empty on three power-plays, including a two-man advantage for 36 seconds.

Ottawa got that one back when Chris Neil was credited with the goal when Mike Hoffman’s shot when through a maze of bodies in front of the net and found its way behind  Price.

The Canadiens lost the battle of special teams. They had one power-play goal on nine opportunities while the Senators went 3-for-7.

The Canadiens are back in action at the Bell Centre Sunday night at 7 against the Minnesota Wild while the Florida Panthers are the visitors on Monday. Montreal wraps up its preseason schedule with games Thursday at home against Buffalo and Saturday when they meet the New York Islanders in Quebec City.     

The Wild will arrive in Montreal without goaltender Josh Harding. He suffered damage to both his ACL and MCL ligaments Saturday night and will likely miss the entire season.  

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