Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Sens #3
Since Sergei : Among the favorites to claim the Calder Trophy, rookie Brendan Gallagher’s production hasn’t slowed down since the start of the playoffs. The feisty forward has contributed offensively with goals in the first two tilts against the Senators. Gallagher also became the first Canadiens rookie to score in consecutive games since Sergei Kostitsyn accomplished the feat in the spring of 2008. Back then, the younger Kostitsyn brother tallied in both Games 1 and 2 in a series against the Bruins.
Taking advantage : Odd-numbered games are supposed to be the most important tilts in a series. On Sunday against the Senators, the Canadiens will try to improve their record to 25 wins and 13 losses during the third game of a best-of-seven series in which the clubs split the first two games. Ottawa has a record of eight wins and five losses in similar situations.
Master of the circle : Since the start of the Canadiens-Senators series, Tomas Plekanec has yet to meet his match in the faceoff circle. In the first two games of the series, the 30-year-old centreman has won 70 percent of his draws, coming out on top in 33 of 47 faceoff opportunities.
Sacrificing oneself for the cause : Just like they have all season long, the Canadiens haven’t hesitated to put themselves in shooting lanes early on in the playoffs. Through two games of the NHL’s second season, Montreal is dominating the league with 55 blocked shots, including eight by Josh Gorges and another eight by number 61…Raphael Diaz.
Utilized in every way possible : Head coach Michel Therrien has never hid his admiration for Brandon Prust, demonstrating it once again on Friday night by adding an “A” to his jersey in the absence of Brian Gionta, and providing him with 18 minutes and 22 seconds of ice time. Prust hadn’t seen that much playoff action since May 2, 2012, when he logged 18 minutes and 43 seconds of ice time for John Tortorella and the New York Rangers when the Rangers-Capitals game finished up…in triple overtime.