October 01, 2016 - 4:40 PM
OTTAWA - Guy Boucher will not tolerate tardiness this season and he made sure Bobby Ryan and Cody Ceci got the message loud and clear.
The two players were late for a pre-game meeting and sat for the entire first period as a result Saturday afternoon as the Ottawa Senators fell 3-2 in overtime to the Montreal Canadiens in pre-season action.
"We handled it well, we tried to sit there and be good teammates and cheer the team on as much as we could, but we were late and we paid the price," said Ryan. "It's the first (meeting) I've missed in 10 years."
Ryan admitted it was a little embarrassing and doesn't plan on letting it happen again.
Boucher downplayed the incident and said it was just a matter of following the team's rules.
"The players did very well in terms of owning it and were actually encouraging our guys behind the bench," said Boucher. "You own it and then you move on and there's no issue."
Phillip Danault scored 46 seconds into extra time for the winner. Paul Byron and Brian Flynn also scored for the Canadiens while Al Montoya made 24 saves.
Mike Hoffman and Kyle Turris found the back of the net for Ottawa with Andrew Hammond stopping 29 shots.
"We're not looking at scores," said Boucher. "Whether we win 6-1 or lose, we're looking at every individual facet of the game."
This was the Senators' first pre-season game on home ice, giving the 17,147 spectators at Canadian Tire Centre their first opportunity to see the new head coach at work.
Montreal took a 1-0 lead just 37 seconds into the first period as Byron took advantage of some weak defensive play by the Senators and beat Hammond through the legs.
Ryan made his presence known early in the second period as he made a great pass to Hoffman to set up a power-play goal and tie the game 1-1. Ottawa took the lead moments later as Phil Varone found Turris alone in front and he beat Montoya with a solid backhand as he fell to the ice.
The Canadiens tied the game with 36.2 seconds remaining in regulation as Flynn was left all alone.
Varone is considered one of Ottawa's bubble players and has been impressive throughout the pre-season. Varone now leads all Senators scorers with six points (two goals, four assists) after three pre-season games.
"Every game he's had an impact offensively," said Boucher. "He works very hard, first on puck, good kid. He's done a good job of keeping himself in the mix."
Boucher says players are making decisions difficult.
"Some days you think something and then the next game after that it's another player that's shining. Right now we're juggling. I'll be honest we're juggling," said Boucher. "There's some guys that are consistently shining and some other guys that stand out, but at the NHL it's about trying to find consistency in your players and I think right now we're going to keep evaluating."
Boucher has made it clear that players who have earned the right to play will be given an opportunity regardless of contract status.
"There are always spots open," he said.
The Canadiens are back in action Sunday night as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs, while the Senators will have the day off before heading to Winnipeg to face the Jets on Monday.
Notes: Ottawa's Zack Smith is dealing with a bad bruise and his return remains up in the air. Curtis Lazar continues to be monitored as he's dealing with mononucleosis. Montreal's Torrey Mitchell suffered an upper-body injury midway through the first period and did not return.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled Brian Flynn's name.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016