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Tough one to drop

The Canadiens lost their first game of the season on home ice in regulation time on Tuesday night

by Matt Cudzinowski @canadiensmtl /

MONTREAL - No team had managed to best the Canadiens in regulation time on Bell Centre ice until the Ottawa Senators came to town on Tuesday night.

Guy Boucher's contingent erased three separate one-goal deficits before captain Erik Karlsson notched the game-winning tally at the 5:37 mark of the third period to lift Ottawa to a 4-3 victory.

Michel Therrien's troops dropped to 11-1-1 on the year at home, but still maintain their standing as the top team in the league with 30 points, one point clear of the New York Rangers.

Shea Weber, Alexander Radulov and Alex Galchenyuk lit the lamp behind goaltender Craig Anderson in the loss, as the Canadiens outshot the Senators by a 39-23 margin overall. Andrei Markov, meanwhile, assisted on all three goals from the back end, and collected his 13th, 14th and 15th helpers of the season.

Video: OTT@MTL: Weber blisters in one-timer for PPG

While some of the Canadiens' top guns continued their stellar work on offense, Galchenyuk says that was little consolation considering they didn't come away with anything to show for their work in the end.

"We lost the game. It doesn't matter [what I did]. Obviously, there are some positives and some negatives that cost us the game. At the end of the day, it's a loss. It doesn't matter how many good things you did. You didn't come up with the win," explained Galchenyuk, who became the first Canadiens player to reach the 20-point plateau on Tuesday night with his fifth multi-point game of the 2016-17 campaign. "It's a tough one, but we have a game really soon [against Carolina on Thursday], so we've got to put this one behind us. Obviously, it's going to suck for a little while, but we've got practice and a game the next day, so we've got to focus on that."

Video: OTT@MTL: Galchenyuk buries a slap shot for PPG

As expected, it was a rather intense affair at times. Andrew Shaw and Chris Neil dropped the gloves in a first-period scrap, as 18 total penalties - and 42 total penalty minutes - were assessed between both teams throughout the night. That didn't really catch Markov by surprise, though.

"We knew it was going to be a tight-checking game. I think we played a pretty good game. We got some opportunities on the power play, but we didn't score enough," admitted Markov, on the subject of the Canadiens going 2-for-8 with the man advantage, as Weber picked up his league-leading seventh power-play goal of the season and Galchenyuk converted one of his trademark power-play snipes, too. "It's always been like that [between Ottawa and Montreal]. I don't see any problem with that. Nobody wants to lose the game. That's hockey. We see real fights. I think the next game will be the same way."

Nathan Beaulieu, meanwhile, was forced to leave the game with five minutes remaining in the second period after taking an errant puck up high. The Canadiens confirmed that he'd been transported to the hospital for precautionary reasons. It goes without saying that there was plenty of concern for Beaulieu's well-being in the dressing room following the loss.

"It's very concerning. He's a big part of the team and a great friend. I didn't know it was that serious when it first happened," said captain Max Pacioretty. "He's a tough guy. We didn't know much about it when we came into the room. We're hoping for the best. He's a great friend and a great teammate."

Video: Max Pacioretty on the loss to Ottawa

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