The Montreal Canadiens may have scored their 20,000th goal on Monday night, but Chris Neil's goal in the third period broke a 2-2 tie and ended the Habs' win streak at four games as the Ottawa Senators earned a 4-2 victory in front of 20,369 at Scotiabank Place.
The Senators (20-15-4) have won both their games since losing captain Daniel Alfredsson to a shoulder injury on Dec. 23. Forwards Jason Spezza and Nick Foligno also did not play due to injuries. Ottawa, which rallied from a 2-0 deficit on Monday, also earned a 3-2 shootout win against Buffalo on Saturday.
"These are two pretty big wins in our division," said Sens goalie Pascal Leclaire, who made 29 saves for his 10th win of the season. "They're our best guys, no doubt about that and we're aware of that, but we've got to step it up and make sure we play well while those guys are away. It was a great team effort."
Cammalleri, who signed with the Canadiens as a free agent last summer, scored the franchise's historic goal at 4:59 of the opening period, his 19th of the season. Both his stick and the puck will be transported to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
"It's pretty special to be part of the history," Cammalleri said. "It's not the result we wanted though."
Benoit Pouliot gave Montreal a 2-0 lead when he beat Leclaire at 9:50 of the first as he found a way to get a shot off before falling to the ice. It was his third goal of the season.
"We didn't start so hot," Ottawa forward Mike Fisher said. "We made some adjustments and started to play our game and stuck with it and found a way to win. It was a huge win for us."
Things began to turn around for the Sens when Peter Regin cut the deficit in half at 12:48 of the first period. With the teams at even strength, Regin poked a rebound past Jaroslav Halak (24 saves) to make it 2-1.
Ryan Shannon then tied things up when he took a pass from Regin and fired a shot from the point past Halak for a power-play goal at 15:33 of the second period. It was his second goal of the season.
"With the injuries we have right now there are certain guys who are going to step up to fill those roles," Shannon said. "There are a lot of guys that want to fill those roles and we're doing a good job so far."
After the Senators had a goal waved off in the final minute of the second, Neil put his team in front 6:15 into the third as Fisher got around Habs defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron and fired a shot that went off the crossbar, where Neil batted it out of mid-air and past Halak for his sixth tally of the season. Chris Campoli secured the win with an empty-net goal at 19:14.
Brian Gionta returned to Montreal's lineup after missing 21 games with a broken foot. He had an assist and six shots on goal in 16:34 of ice time.
"It felt pretty good to be back," Gionta said. "We would have liked the win obviously. When we have a team on a rope we have to find a way to bury them. We had our opportunities and their goalie came up pretty big for them."
1 - 0 MTL
2 - 0 MTL
2 - 1 MTL
2 - 2 Tie
3 - 2 OTT
4 - 2 OTT