OTTAWA - Alexei Kovalev scored in regulation and in the shootout Saturday night as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Ottawa Senators 5-4.
Kovalev and Maxim Lapierre both beat Brian Elliott, making his first appearance in an NHL shootout, while neither Jason Spezza or Daniel Alfredsson were able to score for Ottawa.
Kovalev, Andrei Kostitsyn, Matt D'Agostini and Tom Kostopoulos scored for Montreal which has now won six of its last seven. Jaroslav Halak stopped 28 shots for his 11th win of the season.
Dany Heatley scored twice, while Chris Kelly and Mike Fisher also scored for Ottawa (15-22-6) which saw a two-game winning streak come to an end. Elliott was solid despite a couple of questionable goals as he faced 32 shots.
Montreal (27-11-6) opened the game with a power-play goal just shy of the eight-minute mark as Daniel Alfredsson and Spezza sat in the penalty box. Kovalev beat Elliott through the legs for his 12th of the season.
Kelly managed to tie the game, taking a great pass from Jarkko Ruutu and beating Halak shortside.
With just over seven minutes remaining in the period, Andrei Kostitsyn made it 2-1 as his shot just trickled over the goal-line after Elliott lost sight of the puck.
Elliott, making his fourth straight start, proved he can step up under pressure as he stopped two breakaways in the second period. The first time he stopped Tomas Plekanec and on the second he robbed Robert Lang as the Senators looked awful on a powerplay.
Lang has been hot as of late with 11 points (five goals, six assists), including two assists in this game, in his last seven games.
Elliott's luck ran out late in the second as D'Agostini was able to beat him high stick side after Montreal had created a number of scoring chances.
It was difficult to tell who the home team was as the 20,413 on hand at Scotiabank Place seemed to be cheering louder for the Canadiens.
Heatley scored his 18th of the season at the five-minute mark of the third. He beat Halak stick-side as the Senators broke in on a three-on-one to make it 3-2.
Montreal made it 4-2 at the 11-minute mark when Kostopoulos' shot managed to just get under Elliott's right pad and across the goal-line. Just 33 seconds later Heatley replied for Ottawa with his second of the game.
Fisher scored the tying goal with less than two minutes remaining as he beat Halak over the shoulder.
Notes: Ottawa D Brendan Bell was a healthy scratch for the third straight game. D Anton Volchenkov upper body injury (day-to-day) and C Cody Bass (shoulder, indefinite) missed the game The Canadiens were without G Carey Price (lower body, day-to-day), C Saku Koivu (foot, day-to-day), LW Alex Tanguay (shoulder, indefinite), RW Georges Laraque (groin, indefinite), LW Christopher Higgins (shoulder, indefinite), RW Mathieu Dandenault (arm, indefinite), C Kyle Chipchura was a healthy scratch.