A big rivalry in the first round features Montreal Canadiens against the Ottawa Senators. The Canadiens come into the series as one of the best teams in the league this season. The Senators come into the series as one of the hottest teams in the past two months. Both can be attributed to excellent goaltending for each team, Carey Price (Canadiens) and Andrew Hammond (Senators). The Canadiens finished first in GA/GP with 2.24 and finished twentieth in G/GP with 2.61. Without excellent goaltending from Price the Canadiens might have missed the playoffs, a big reason why Price is the front runner for the Hart. Andrew Hammond who had a record of 20-1-2, Save percentage of .941 and a GAA off 1.79 lead the Senators who were three places out of a playoff spot into just clinching a berth.
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This is going to be a very tight series as it always is when two bitter rivals face off. In game 1 the Canadiens will be able to get an early lead against the Senators due to Hammond’s inexperience, but he will slowly get back into focus and give his team a chance of winning the game. The Senators will give it their all but Price will remain strong with maybe one or two going past him. Game 2 will be a much tighter affair but the result will be the same with the Canadiens coming out on top. Game 3 will go to the Senators due to increased offensive play and great goaltending from Andrew Hammond. Game 4 will be a rout for the Canadiens with Hammond not playing to his best. Game 5 will go to the Senators. Hammond will continue his bad play from the previous game but the Senators will put too much pressure on Price who will give way in a high scoring game. The Canadiens will clinch the series in the next game in Ottawa despite great overall play from the Senators the Canadiens will be just that much better to beat them.
Series: 4-2 Canadiens
Game 1: 3-1 Canadiens
Game 2: 2-1 Canadiens
Game 3: 4-2 Senators
Game 4: 6-1 Canadiens
Game 5: 5-4 Senators
Game 6: 3-2 Canadiens
All Stats from NHL.com
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