Perhaps, for a moment, there was hope for another miracle. Something that would take Dale Weise’s overtime winner in Game 3 off the board. Something that would prevent the Senators from going down 0-3 in this series, after having led for most of the game before Weise tied in in the third period.
The conference ended. The referee pointed to center ice to confirm the goal at 8:47 of overtime and the 2-1 Montreal win on Saturday night. And with three straight losses, the Ottawa Senators might be finally all out of miracles.
From one angle, it appeared that it had deflected off of Prust’s hand near the Ottawa bench and then back to the middle of the ice.
Other angles appeared to show the puck bounce off the last stanchion between panes of glass near the Ottawa bench -- higher than where Prust's hand was.
Whatever the case, Weise won the game. And the Sens have to win out to advance.
Ottawa made a bold decision before Game 3, benching Andrew “Hamburglar” Hammond, their cult hero, for Craig Anderson, the deposed starter.
"Because of what he did, I'm in the situation now talking to you [reporters]. I actually owe him a thank you and a pat on the back,” said Anderson before Game 3.
The Sens hit the board first in their first home game of the series.
The Senators took a 1-0 lead on a spinning pass from Mark Stone near the blue line of the attacking zone that found Clarke MacArthur on Price’s doorstep. He moved around a battle between Kyle Turris and Andrei Markov, slid the puck past Price on the backhand and gave the Sens the lead at 11:28 of the first.
Then it was the Anderson show, as he desperately maintained the tenuous lead. Anderson made 19 saves in the second period and another 12 in the third; but the Canadiens finally broke through at 14:13 of the final frame with yet another goal generated by its fourth line.
The pressure came right to Anderson, with Torrey Mitchell carrying the puck deep. Brandon Prust fired the puck from a tough angle, Anderson fought it off, but the rebound went right to Weise for the equalizer at 14:13.
Carey Price was brilliant again, making 33 saves, including a glove stop on Mark Stone early in overtime.
So was Anderson … save for that one last shot.
And it might have been Ottawa’s last shot to win this series.