The Ottawa Senators arrived in the Montreal Canadiens territory hoping for a win and to lead the season series 3-1. Instead, they lost in a shootout and let Montreal add an extra two points to their season total.
Ottawa’s loss lets Montreal win four straight and is only 4-2-4 in their last ten. This team is depleted in their top talent, but there is no reason they cannot win these close games. Getting at least one point is always beneficial, but it’s the inability to get in done in overtime or in a shootout that can leave the Sens on the outside looking in come playoff time.
Right now, Ottawa is struggling. One win in their last six can cost them a postseason berth. Ottawa cannot afford to lose anymore close games. They need to find a way to get that extra point to get the “W.” As the season comes to an end in the next couple of weeks, a team that was able to get it done in overtime will be playing postseason hockey, while the team that was happy with a point will be watching NHL games from their flat screen TV.
On the positive side, Ottawa’s close losses are showing that they can at least skate with other teams for a full game. Even without their top stars, every game they are skating with their counterparts and making a game out of it. It is evident that Ottawa can play with every team they have faced this year, but right now, they can’t afford to lose any more close games.
If Ottawa doesn’t make the playoffs this year, it will most likely be by a close margin. Being able to pot a goal in overtime can make the Senators a playoff team instead of a team not thought about until trade deadline. Ottawa closes in on a five-game homestand at the end of March, with Scotiabank Place being good to them. To reach the postseason, they’re going to need to accumulate more than a couple one-point decisions.