Skip to main content

Canadiens 3, Senators 1 @NHL

MONTREAL (AP) -Despite a shaky start, the Montreal Canadiens got superb goaltending on a night they honored one of their greatest netminders.

Sheldon Souray, Mark Streit and Tomas Plekanec scored 2:24 apart in the second period to lead Montreal to a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Monday night.

The Canadiens retired Hall of Fame goalie Ken Dryden's No. 29 and raised it to the rafters before backup David Aebischer stopped 26 straight shots. He was beaten by defenseman Chris Phillips' high floater from the blue line just 52 seconds in on Ottawa's first shot, then was perfect the rest of the way.

"You don't want to get scored on at any time, the start of the game is probably the worst time, but it happens," Aebischer said. "The whole team put it behind us as fast as possible, played well for 60 minutes and got two points, which I think were well deserved."

Souray tied it 1-1 with his 17th goal on a power play at 10:55. Streit gave Montreal the lead when he beat Ray Emery through the legs on a breakaway at 12:01.

Plekanec scored his 10th at 13:19, a short-handed effort that put the Canadiens up by two. Montreal went on to end Ottawa's two-game winning streak.

"They have been playing great lately and we're definitely grateful to beat them," Plekanec said.

The Senators fell behind Montreal into third in the Northeast Division despite losing in regulation for just the third time in 16 games (12-3-1).

"There are going to be games ... you're not going to win all of them," Ottawa defenseman Wade Redden said. "They obviously had their backs against the wall, there was a lot of talk about them coming out, the way things have been going for them, so we knew they were going to be hungry. It was disappointing when we got the start and we didn't keep at them. They got a little momentum going in the second and got some quick goals."

Montreal, which lost 4-1 in Toronto on Saturday, won for the third time in four games to move into fourth overall in the Eastern Conference with 61 points, one ahead of Ottawa.

"We stuck with our system. Sometimes it wasn't very pretty but we did what we had to do," Souray said. "When we just pay attention to some of those little details, we're a pretty good team. We played against a team that's been on a pretty good roll."

The game started about 75 minutes later than usual following a long ceremony honoring Dryden. Hall of Fame Russian goalie Vladislav Tretiak took part at Dryden's invitation, along with Dryden's older brother, former NHL and WHA goalie Dave Dryden.

Phillips stunned the sold-out Bell Centre crowd when his long shot soared over Aebischer's left shoulder into the top of the net in the opening minute.

Souray tied it midway through the middle period when he took Michael Ryder's pass to the point and drove a slap shot past Emery.

Streit snapped the tie 66 seconds later when he swooped in on a breakaway and deftly slipped the puck between Emery's pads.

"Sometimes on the ice you just try something, and it worked," said Streit, a defenseman who Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau has converted into a forward.

The cheering crowd had barely settled down when Plekanec made it 3-1 as the Canadiens were killing Souray's high sticking penalty.

Notes: Emery, Jason Spezza, Chris Neil, Dany Heatley and Brian McGrattan were among the Senators players who watched Dryden's ceremony from the corridor outside Ottawa's dressing room. ... Al MacNeil, Dryden's first coach with the Canadiens when they won the Stanley Cup in 1970-71, also took part in the event.

View More