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game recap

Canadiens defeat Senators for second straight win since pause

Allen makes 23 saves, four players score for Montreal

by Callum Fraser / Independent Correspondent

Byron scores shorthanded goal

MTL@OTT: Byron scores shorthanded goal in 2nd period

Paul Byron receives a nifty set-up from Jake Evans and scores a shorthanded goal against the Ottawa Senators to make it 2-0

  • 00:34 •

OTTAWA -- Brendan Gallagher and Phillip Danault each had a goal and an assist for the Montreal Canadiens in a 4-1 win against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.

The Canadiens' top line combined for six points, with Tomas Tatar getting two assists.

"We're missing our best goal-scorer," Danault said of Tyler Toffoli, who is out with a lower-body injury. "But a good, cultured team always finds a way to win without a superstar player, if I can say that. We all stick to the system, game after game. Whoever is in, if we buy into the system, that's how you win and that's what we are doing right now."

Jake Allen made 22 saves for the Canadiens (16-8-9), who won their second straight since returning from a nine-day COVID-19 pause and extended their point streak to six games (4-0-2). Allen is 2-0-1 with a .948 save percentage against the Senators this season.

"I've played behind a few good teams in the past, I've been very fortunate," Allen said. "Tonight felt like I was behind one of those really good teams again. Just the way the guys supported the puck, they were in the right positions, they were patient with it, they dumped pucks in, they didn't force any plays."

Connor Brown scored, and Filip Gustavsson made 34 saves for the Senators (12-21-4), which had a six-game point streak end (3-0-3) and had not played since last Thursday.

"I think our intensity level was rusty, more than our skills," Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. "You've got to get that compete level at 100. They're a desperate team over there and we weren't as desperate."

Video: MTL@OTT: Danault deposits opening goal from in close

Danault scored on a Gallagher rebound at the edge of the crease to give the Canadiens a 1-0 lead at 10:48 of the first period.

Paul Byron took a centering pass from Jake Evans and scored shorthanded with a backhand deke to make it 2-0 48 seconds into the second period. Montreal leads the NHL with eight shorthanded goals, which is tied for the most in one season in Montreal history (eight in 2015-16).

Evans' shot rebounded to Corey Perry in front of the net and he lifted the puck over Gustavsson's glove to make it 3-0 at 4:43 of the third period. Gallagher tapped in a cross-crease pass from Danault to make it 4-0 at 10:04.

"They've got guys that want to get to the net, and we've got to be willing to hold them off," Smith said. "It's the same thing offensively. If you want to score, you've got to get to the net. And they got to our net, but we didn't get to theirs."

Video: MTL@OTT: Gallagher scores in 3rd period

Mike Reilly's one-timer bounced off the boards and right to Brown, who chipped it over Allen's blocker on the power play with 1:47 remaining for the 4-1 final. Forward Artturi Lehkonen took an offensive-zone tripping penalty seven seconds earlier.

Montreal had not allowed a goal since returning to play (118:12). It shut out the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 on Thursday when Carey Price made 17 saves.

"It's taken some time to buy into a system that [Dominique Ducharme] has put into place," Allen said of the coach who replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 24. "I've been through coaching changes. It takes a couple weeks, a month. I think that things are really starting to click and guys are buying in. If we can do that consistently, we'll have a good chance to win most nights."

NOTES: Senators forward Colin White sustained an upper-body injury late in the second period and did not return. Smith did not have an update on White's status, saying "we'll know more later." ... Lehkonen and defenseman Victor Mete were the only Canadiens skaters to not have a shot on goal. ... Ottawa forward Brady Tkachuk had a game-high nine hits. ... Toffoli has scored 18 goals this season. ... The Canadiens have not had consecutive shutouts since Jan. 29-31, 2015, when Price defeated the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, each 1-0.

Video: Danault, Gallagher lead Canadiens to 4-1 victory

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