Canadiens hand Senators their 6th loss in a row
The Ottawa Senators can't buy a win. No way, no how, no chance.
Goalie Carey Price made two saves in the shootout and Alex Tanguay scored the decisive goal to lift the visiting Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win over Ottawa Thursday night.
"It's a move I used to practise in Colorado, I haven't brought it out in a game, obviously," said Tanguay, who skated in backward on Senators goalie Alex Auld before slipping the puck between his pads.
Andrei Markov also scored in the shootout for Montreal, who won for the just the second time in five games, while Price made a pad stop on Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and denied Jarkko Ruutu with a fantastic glove save to send Ottawa to its sixth consecutive loss.
"It was a pretty tight game, it was a fast-paced game from both sides and both sides were desperate to get a win," Tanguay said. "It was a huge relief for us. Andrei has played some great hockey for us. The puck hasn't gone in as much as he'd like, but he made an outstanding shot there and fortunately for us that puck found its way into the net."
Markov scored with less than five minutes left in regulation to force overtime.
Jason Spezza scored in the shootout for Ottawa, who has not won since earning a 4-1 decision against Philadelphia on home ice on Nov. 6.
"Both teams were kind of struggling lately and everything was left on the ice," said Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau. "Both teams fought hard and played well defensively. I was just happy we were able to come back at the end."
"It's not fun to lose that way," Auld said. "We've got to look at the fact that we got a big point. Obviously it's tough, but we've got to keep looking forward."
Dany Heatley opened the scoring at 4:21 of the first period, beating Price from the slot for his 11th goal of the season.
Montreal captain Saku Koivu tied things up nine minutes later, scoring on a wraparound while the Habs were on the power-play.
A tight-checking second period produced just 10 shots on net between the teams and no goals, although Ottawa had a goal disallowed on a delayed penalty call. Referee Don VanMassenhoven immediately waived the goal off, ruling that Montreal's Francis Bouillon touched the puck before Ottawa's Anton Volchenkov shot it past Price.
Things opened up a bit at the start of the third period, and it was the Senators who were the benefactors.
Playing with the man advantage, Ottawa won possession of the puck behind the net before working it to the point and Nick Foligno went to the net where he banged in a rebound at 4:58 to put the Senators out front again.
The goal was Foligno's third of the season and first in 13 games.
"It was a hard shot for [Price] to see," Foligno said. "I dove for it and knew it was under his pad. It would have been nice if it helped us win, but we've just go to keep working hard."
Ottawa looked to have things well in hand, smothering the Habs forwards every time they crossed over the blue-line.
But the Canadiens kept coming at the Senators and were rewarded for their persistence when Markov blasted a powerful slapshot by Auld with 4:24 left in regulation.
Auld made a sensational save in the final minute of the period to send the game into overtime.
Ottawa began the extra frame on the power play after Montreal's Guillaume Latendresse was called for high sticking late in the third period, but couldn't convert with the man advantage.
"We've just got to stick with it," Auld said. "We're preaching that. We believe we're doing the right things and if we build on those things, we'll be even better."
Both clubs will be back in action on Saturday. The Senators host the New York Rangers (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 3 p.m. ET), while Montreal will retire Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy's jersey before taking on the Boston Bruins (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 6:30 p.m. ET).
With files from Canadian Press