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Game Day 5: Sens @ Canadiens

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

A look back at Mike Hoffma's shootout winner in Philadelphia, Ryan Dzingel's Super Bowl prediction and more in today's Game Day 5 from Montreal.

1. "The Hoffman"

It was an exciting victory yesterday in Philly and Mike Hoffman's game winner was the cherry on top. The Sens winger reached into his bag of tricks in the shootout and pulled out a familiar move to finish off the Flyers.

Video: OTT@PHI: Hoffman nets backhand for shootout win

"Mike is a high risk guy and high risk, high reward," said head coach Guy Boucher following the win. "That's exactly what we got."

11 shooters had tried and failed before Hoffman's number was called and the coach admitted he was looking for something different at that point in the shootout.

"At some point when you see all these guys trying, you look for something that's a curveball to give yourself a chance," said Boucher. "I think that's what Mike is."

Hoffman used the same move in Game 3 against the Boston Bruins last year after being sprung on a breakaway by the mother of all saucer passes from Erik Karlsson and you can relive that play in all it's glory RIGHT HERE.

 

2. Dzingel begrudgingly backs Patriots

While a Sens/Habs tilt is usually the feature game on any weekend, it's a little different today. With Super Bowl LII set to kick off in Minnesota this evening between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, I thought we'd add a little coverage of the "Big Game" to today's Game Day 5.

Ryan Dzingel is a self-proclaimed "football guy" so we had a quick chat about his predictions, the goat and more...

 

3. Net gains

The Sens have had some issues in goal this season but things seem to be on an upswing. Since the team's bye week in mid-January both goalies are finding their rhythm and that may have to do with the rotation of starts employed by the coach.

"We're seeing repurcussions of us giving both of them a chance," said Boucher. "Whether they played great or they had something they wanted to get back, they know they'll get their next one soon enough."

In the 8 games since the January break there has been a noticeable jump in each goaltender's save percentage with Craig Anderson's sitting at .924 Mike Condon's at .937 over that span.

Video: OTT@PHI: Anderson denies Giroux's point-blank shot

"It's the most important player in the ice," Boucher stated. "It's pitcher in baseball, the quarterback in football and when those guys are at their best that's when you know you have a chance to win against anybody."

Mike Condon is expected to start toay's game in Montreal.

 

4. Previous meeting

You remember this one. The Sens and Habs last faced off outdoors as part of the Scotianbank NHL 100 Classic where the hometown team blanked the visiting Canadiens 3-0 in front of a packed house at Lansdowne. Craig Anderson was flawless stopping all 28 shots he faced to pick up the W while Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Bobby Ryan and Nate Thompson took care of the offence that night.

Relive that game below with the full highlights...

Video: Anderson, Sens blank Habs in NHL100 Classic

 

5. Where to watch

It's the second of back-to-back matinees so we've got another 1 p.m. start today. You can catch the Sens and Canadiens live on Sportsnet or better yet grab some people and head over to Hometown Sports Grill on Bank where they'll be serving up $6 tall cans of Molson Canadian during the game.

Instagram from @senators: It's a #Sens game day! We've got a matinee in Montreal against the Canadiens at 1 p.m. #GoSensGo

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