Giroux scores twice as Senators cruise past Canadiens for 3rd straight win

One week ago the Ottawa Senators were frustrated and dejected, but three wins in a span of seven days has changed their outlook. Saturday night the Senators (23-23-3) capped the week with an impressive 5-0 home win over the divisional rival Montreal Canadiens.

Veteran winger collects 3 points, Forsberg posts 28-save shutout in 5-0 victory

Four Ottawa players gather near the boards to celebrate as a Montreal player looks dejected in the foreground and fans cheer in the background.
Senators right-winger Claude Giroux, middle, celebrates with teammates during a 5-0 win over the Canadiens on Saturday night in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

One week ago the Ottawa Senators were frustrated and dejected, but three wins in a span of seven days has changed their outlook.

On Saturday night, they capped the week with an impressive 5-0 home win over the divisional rival Montreal Canadiens.

This came following a 6-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday night allowing the Senators to feel like things are moving in the right direction.

"Our pace is faster," said Claude Giroux, who led the way with a pair of goals and an assist. "We make plays, smart plays, not really high risk and we're playing good defence right now that is giving us offence, so you know we've just got to keep pushing here."

WATCH | Giroux's 2-goal night leads Senators past Habs:

Giroux pots a pair as Sens blank Habs

2 months ago
Duration 1:01
Claude Giroux's two goals and one assist powered the Senators' to a 5-0 win over Montreal.

Solid goaltending has also been a factor.

Anton Forsberg, who stopped 28 shots, played again Saturday as Cam Talbot remains sidelined with a lower-body injury.

"Forsberg, he was the best player," said Senators head coach D.J. Smith. "I don't know what the chances are, but they had lots in the first period. They had some posts and that's expected maybe on a back-to-back. We were a little flat coming out, but I thought as the game went on, we got to the net a bit and we got some turnovers."

'The intentions were right'

This marked the second of four games between the two clubs, which the Senators have both won, but Canadiens bench boss Martin St. Louis still liked a lot of what he saw from his team.

"I liked all of our game for the most part, except for maybe in the third we had some challenges getting to the net," said St. Louis. "We take a penalty and then we get a power play, but have trouble getting in the zone and had a lack of execution.

"The intentions were right, but I would have liked to have seen us have more shots in the third."

Alex DeBrincat, Mathieu Joseph and Derick Brassard also scored for the 23-23-3 Senators, while Sam Montembeault stopped 31 shots for the Canadiens (20-26-4).

Beck makes NHL debut

Owen Beck made his NHL debut after being recalled from the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League on an emergency basis Friday.

"It was a whirlwind 24 hours," said Beck. "It was super cool going to dinner with [Montreal captain Nick] Suzuki and the guys, like I mentioned earlier today. A lot of special things from my rookie lap to my first shift and the rest of the game and the people that were here to see me.

"It was a great experience. Obviously, not the result we wanted, but hopefully there's lots more games to come that we'll win."

The teams play again Tuesday night in Montreal.

Trailing 3-0 the Canadiens looked to get back in the game, but were unable to beat Forsberg despite having two power-play opportunities. Joseph added an empty-net goal with just over one minute in regulation leading the numerous Montreal fans on hand to head for the exit and Brassard made it 5-0.

Scoreless after the first period the Senators took control in the second scoring three unanswered goals.

"I think in the second period we had a couple of [penalty kills] and we lost momentum a little bit," said Christian Dvorak. "They were opportunistic on their chances and I think that cost us the game."

DeBrincat picked up his 16th of the season scoring on a 2-on-1 to open the scoring just 22 seconds into the period.

Giroux then scored a pair of goals, the first coming off a great feed from rookie Ridly Greig on the power play. He then made it 3-0 banking a shot off Montreal's Arber Xhekaj.

Greig, playing in just his third NHL game, has made an immediate impact and seems to have natural chemistry playing on a line with Giroux and DeBrincat.

"[It's] not by communicating because he doesn't really talk," said Giroux. "He's fun to play with. He competes, he's a very smart player and brings energy to the line and we're just having fun."

Greig nearly had his first NHL goal as Giroux looked to make the pass, but instead hit Xhekaj's skate.

"I think if it goes through he's got an empty-netter, but we'll take it," Giroux said.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?