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Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Senators #6

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

BOUNCING BACK: Over the course of a dream regular season that has earned him a first career Vezina nomination, Carey Price’s nightly save percentage only dipped below .850 in six games. Furthermore, Friday’s game marked Price's first sub.850 outing this postseason. While the performances in question may indeed have been outliers during the All-Star netminder's 2014-15 campaign, his responses to each have not been, posting a near-perfect 5-1 record in the following game.

RESPECTING TRADITIONS: Counting over 105 years of history, 56 Hall of Famers, 18 retired jerseys and 24 Stanley Cups, the Canadiens are synonymous with history — but some traditions are better known than others. For instance, the Habs have made a habit of never going on to play a Game 7 in a series in which the team initially led 3-0. On the two such occasions where the Canadiens dropped Games 4 and 5 after putting the opposition on the ropes early, they ultimately bounced back in Game 6, winning  against the Buffalo Sabres in 1973 and the Hartford Whalers in 1988.

NETMIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS: The history between Brandon Prust and Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop is well documented. After an animated ‘discussion’ between both gentlemen during Super Bowl Weekend 2014, the two got up close and personal again on March 16, 2015, an incident which seemed to spark the Habs to a trio of wins in their next three games. Will the Sher-Wood exchange between Prust and Senators netminder Craig Anderson on Friday have the same effect this weekend? Time will tell...

SUNDAY’S HERO: For a second time in seven days, the Habs will play a rare Sunday game. Who can forget the Habs’ previous Sunday outing, when Dale Weise scored twice to win Game 3 in overtime at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa? Already just a goal shy of his career-best three playoff tallies, will the Dutch Gretzky finish off his week — and the series — in style?

Over the course of the 2014-15 regular season, 23 Habs players found the back of the net at least once, and nine of those goalscorers tallied 10 or more. Switching gears to this postseason, nine players have now combined to score the team’s 10 total goals, each finding the back of the net just once, with the exception of Weise doubling down in Game 3. With the other half of the roster still looking to break the playoff ice, including usual snipers Andrei Markov, David Desharnais, and Brendan Gallagher — who combined to light the lamp 48 times over the campaign — Sunday could be high time for the Habs to begin filling out the rest of the board.


Connect four 
Still in control 
The Numbers Game: Game #5 - April 24, 2015 
Price named Vezina Trophy finalist 

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