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Canadiens' frustration on power play mounts

by Chris Stevenson

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens' frustration on the power play continued Friday at Bell Centre in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Ottawa Senators.

The Canadiens went 0-for-3 with the man-advantage in a 5-1 loss; they are 1-for-19 through five games. Montreal scored its only power-play goal so far in the best-of-7 series in the second period of Game 2.

Ottawa's penalty kill went 6-for-6 in Games 4 and 5, helping the Senators extend the series.

"It is frustrating," Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban said. "You can't sit here and pretend that it's not. It is. It's frustrating when you have power plays and you can't make the difference there. It's a game of bounces. They score a power-play goal that goes off my stick. That's just what you need sometimes. You need a bounce."

The Canadiens, who lead the series 3-2, will look to get that bounce in Game 6 on Sunday at Canadian Tire Centre (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, who has made saves on 120 of 123 shots since getting his first start of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 3, has been a big part of Ottawa's success killing penalties.

So have forwards Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Erik Condra, Milan Michalek and Matt Stone, who have done most of the shorthanded work.

Pageau, in particular, has shown a remarkable willingness to get in front of Subban's powerful shots from the point. He blocked one Subban blast in Game 5 that sent Pageau hobbling to the bench.

"It's only going to get harder as the series goes on, so I wish him the best of luck," Subban said.

Pageau's 14 blocked shots are tied for the Senators lead in the playoffs.

Ottawa forward Clarke MacArthur said he admires Pageau's willingness to block shots.

"I think a lot of (successful penalty killing) is you go that extra mile or extra inch to make a play," MacArthur said. "Pageau, some of the blocked shots he's laid in front of … he's a machine, that kid. He's taken some one-timers from Subban that maybe in the regular season you go, 'Ahh, the goalie needs a little work.' Him and the D corps, they're getting in front of everything that moves."

Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty said the Montreal power play is creating chances but needs better execution to capitalize on them.

"There are definitely some chances there," he said. "Everyone in this room should want to be the difference, and I think if you go out there on the power play, it's a privilege to go out there and get an opportunity to score a goal.

"We all have to look at ourselves and want to be the difference, and I think hopefully going forward that can make the difference in our power play."

Subban said the Canadiens have to work hard and look for their chances.

"It always seems it's tough to get power-play goals in the playoffs," he said. "Everybody seems to be alert on the penalty kill, guys are willing to block shots and do all those little things. As a power play you have to step up the intensity and make sure you're working just as hard as the penalty kill. Sometimes that's getting second and third opportunities."

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