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Lesson(s) learned

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
OTTAWA – The Habs didn’t leave Ottawa empty-handed, but with a playoff berth already locked up, they were looking to take more than just a point out of Thursday’s game.

Highlights Habs-Sens
Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin has been stressing the importance of focusing on the process – not just the result – to his players all season. That could explain why, despite sending the game to overtime with a clutch goal in the dying seconds of Thursday’s game, Michael Cammalleri was more interested in why the Habs were trailing in the first place.

“We need to be a little sharper and a little more assertive in our game. To tie it up at the end was nice, but it was maybe a bit of a mental let down after last game,” admitted Cammalleri. “We could’ve done a better job of that.

“Now we have the Leafs on Saturday and it’s not very much fun playing games when you don’t play your best,” he added. “I’m sure we’ll look forward to really getting it together, picking up the pace and prepping for the playoffs.”

With just 60 minutes now standing between his team and the postseason, Habs captain Brian Gionta was equally focused on using the game against the Sens as a teaching moment.

“We made too many turnovers and we just fed their transition game. We have to tighten things up Saturday night,” stressed Gionta, who notched his 27th goal of the season to open the scoring in the second period. “We were too lax and too irresponsible with the puck in the neutral zone. We just weren’t desperate enough.”

After being outshot and outhit before being outscored by the 13th place Senators, Gionta knows that come playoffs, the difference will be in the details.  

“We were in the game but we never took control when they gave us a chance,” he explained. “Obviously when they scored with two and a half minutes left in the game, for us to come out with a point is nice, but I think we could have done a lot of things a little better.”

Shauna Denis is a writer for

See also:

Postgame comments: Martin | Cammalleri | Gionta | Auld | Spacek
The Numbers Game - April 7, 2011
Put on your game face
Senators 3, Canadiens 2, OT 
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