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Kostitsyn and Markov notch three points apiece as Habs shutout Sens 5-0 @NHLdotcom

MONTREAL - It may only be the pre-season, but new Ottawa Senators head coach Craig Hartsburg already sees some worrisome tendencies taking hold on his team.

Andrei Kostitsyn and Andrei Markov each had a goal and two assists as the Montreal Canadiens scored four times in the second period en route to a 5-0 romp over the Senators on Friday night.

The Canadiens iced a prospect-laden lineup while the Senators roster was not that far from the one that will open the season in Stockholm, Sweden on Oct. 4.

"We've seen two games like this that to me are red flags," Hartsburg said. "We have a lot of habits we need to break."

Sergei Kostitsyn, Matt D'Agostini and Yannick Weber also scored for the Canadiens (3-1-0), who have won three straight since opening the exhibition schedule with an 8-3 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Alex Auld was in nets for all five goals against for the Senators (2-2-0), who will face the Canadiens again in Ottawa on Saturday night before flying to Sweden on Sunday.

"(Auld) was left defenceless for a lot of the goals," Hartsburg said. "I can't really blame Alex on any of those."

The game was a physical affair with four fights, including a long, spirited tilt between Senators tough guy Chris Neil and Canadiens defenceman Alex Henry in the second period.

The Canadiens power play, ranked number one in the NHL last season, connected for three goals on six chances.

Montreal's top line of Tomas Plekanec between Andrei Kostitsyn and Alex Kovalev played their first pre-season game together and looked to be picking up from where they left off last season.

"It looks like they didn't lose a step," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said with a smile. "They made some pretty good plays."

Markov was impressed with the way his team controlled the play for the final 40 minutes, but added a dose of perspective as well.

"Everybody knows we have great speed and that we have to use it, and we did that," Markov said. "But in the regular season it's going to be a different game, everybody knows that."

The Senators top line of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and rookie Jesse Winchester, on the other hand, rarely threatened and Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak was not tested often among the 21 shots he stopped to get the shutout.

Hartsburg refused to single out anyone on the Senators for the loss, saying the team's effort was poor across the board most notably in battles for loose pucks.

"When that team has the puck a lot, they're going to make you pay and that's what they did," he said. "We couldn't attack because we didn't have the puck enough."

After a scoreless first period, Sergei Kostitsyn got Montreal on the board at 3:41 of the second when his wrist shot from the point went in off a Senators defenceman for his first of the pre-season.

D'Agostini benefited from some hard work behind the net by Gregory Stewart, converting a behind the back pass from David Desharnais for his second of the pre-season at 13:11.

Markov made it 3-0 when he one-timed a shot into an open side at 16:38 on the power play, and Weber beat Auld with a laser from the blue line at 18:41 to make it 4-0 going into the second intermission.

Montreal opened the third on the power play and wasted little time converting, with Andrei Kostitsyn completing a nice tic-tac-toe play from Markov and Plekanec at 0:24.

Notes: Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson sat out with a groin injury. Dany Heatley wore the "C" in his place. ... The Sens also didn't dress veterans Chris Phillips, Mike Fisher and Jason Smith, while the Canadiens only had 10 regulars dressed. ... The Canadiens unveiled a new song played at the Bell Centre after goals. The song was written specifically for the Canadiens by Montreal band Simple Plan and is called "Go Habs Go".

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